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Till all things end in the long dust of death.
To-day is still the same as yesterday,

To-morrow also even as one of them;

And there is nothing new under the sun: Until the ancient race of Time be run, The old thorns shall grow out of the old stem, And morning shall be cold and twilight grey.

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SLEEP, let me sleep, for I am sick of care;
Sleep, let me sleep, for my pain wearies me.
Shut out the light; thicken the heavy air
With drowsy incense; let a distant stream
Of music lull me, languid as a dream,

Soft as the whisper of a summer sea.

Pluck me no rose that groweth on a thorn,
Nor myrtle white and cold as snow in June,
Fit for a virgin on her marriage morn:
But bring me poppies brimmed with sleepy death,
And ivy choking what it garlandeth,

And primroses that open to the moon.

Listen, the music swells into a song,

A simple song I loved in days of yore; The echoes take it up and up along The hills, and the wind blows it back again.Peace, peace, there is a memory in that strain Of happy days that shall return no more.

Oh peace! your music wakeneth old thought,
But not old hope that made my life so sweet,
Only the longing that must end in nought.

Have patience with me, friends, a little while:
For soon, where you shall dance and sing and smile,
My quickened dust may blossom at your feet.

Sweet thought that I may yet live and grow green,

That leaves may yet spring from the withered root,
And buds and flowers and berries half unseen.
Then, if you haply muse upon the past,
Say this: Poor child, she has her wish at last;
Barren through life, but in death bearing fruit.


[New Poems 1896. — 12 July 1853.]


"Ye have forgotten the exhortation."

COME, blessed sleep, most full, most perfect, come:
Come, sleep, if so I may forget the whole;
Forget my body and forget my soul,
Forget how long life is and troublesome.
Come, happy sleep, to soothe my heart or numb,
Arrest my weary spirit or control:

Till light be dark to me from pole to pole,
And winds and echoes and low songs be dumb.
Come sleep, and lap me into perfect calm,

Lap me from all the world and weariness: Come, secret sleep, with thine unuttered psalm, Safe sheltering in a hidden cool recess:

Come, heavy dreamless sleep, and close and press Upon mine eyes thy fingers dropping balm.


“Which speaketh unto you as unto children.”

ART thou so weary then, poor thirsty soul?
Have patience, in due season thou shalt sleep.
Mount yet a little while, the path is steep:
Strain yet a little while to reach the goal:
Do battle with thyself, achieve, control:

Till night come down with blessed slumber deep As love, and seal thine eyes no more to weep Through long tired vigils while the planets roll. Have patience, for thou too shalt sleep at length,

Lapt in the pleasant shade of Paradise.

My Hands that bled for thee shall close thine eyes, My Heart that bled for thee shall be thy rest: I will sustain with everlasting strength,

And thou, with John, shalt lie upon My breast.


[Goblin Market etc. 1862. 18 December 1854.]

COME to me in the silence of the night;
Come in the speaking silence of a dream;
Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright

As sunlight on a stream;

Come back in tears,

O memory, hope, love of finished years.

O dream how sweet, too sweet, too bitter sweet, Whose wakening should have been in Paradise, Where souls brimfull of love abide and meet; Where thirsting longing eyes

Watch the slow door

That opening, letting in, lets out no more.

Yet come to me in dreams, that I may live
My very life again though cold in death:
Come back to me in dreams, that I may give
Pulse for pulse, breath for breath:

Speak low, lean low,

As long ago, my love, how long ago.

THE HEART KNOWETH ITS OWN BITTERNESS. [New Poems 1896; Str. 1 und 7 (mit starken Abweichungen) in Verses 1893. 27 August 1857.]

WHEN all the over-work of life

Is finished once, and fast asleep
We swerve no more beneath the knife
But taste that silence cool and deep;
Forgetful of the highways rough,

Forgetful of the thorny scourge,
Forgetful of the tossing surge,
Then shall we find it is enough?

How can we say 'enough' on earth

'Enough' with such a craving heart?
I have not found it since my birth,

But still have bartered part for part.
I have not held and hugged the whole,
But paid the old to gain the new:
Much have I paid, yet much is due,
Till I am beggared sense and soul.

I used to labour, used to strive
For pleasure with a restless will:
Now if I save my soul alive

All else what matters, good or ill?
I used to dream alone, to plan
Unspoken hopes and days to come:-
Of all my past this is the sum—
I will not lean on child of man.

To give, to give, not to receive!
I long to pour myself, my soul,
Not to keep back or count or leave,

But king with king to give the whole. I long for one to stir my deep

I have had enough of help and giftI long for one to search and sift Myself, to take myself and keep.

You scratch my surface with your pin,

You stroke me smooth with hushing breath:Nay pierce, nay probe, nay dig within,

Probe my quick core and sound my depth. You call me with a puny call,

You talk, you smile, you nothing do: How should I spend my heart on you, My heart that so outweighs you all?

Your vessels are by much too strait:

Were I to pour, you could not hold.Bear with me: I must bear to wait,

A fountain sealed through heat and cold.
Bear with me days or months or years:
Deep must call deep until the end
When friend shall no more envy friend
Nor vex his friend at unawares.

Not in this world of hope deferred,
This world of perishable stuff:-
Eye hath not seen nor ear hath heard
Nor heart conceived that full 'enough':
Here moans the separating sea,

Here harvests fail, here breaks the heart:
There God shall join and no man part,
I full of Christ and Christ of me.

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