Thou art too far for wings of words to follow,
Far too far off for thought or any prayer.
ails us with thee, who art wind and air?
What ails us gazing where all seen is hollow?
Yet with some fancy,
yet with some desire,
Dreams pursue death as winds a flying fire,
Our dreams pursue our dead and do
Still, and more swift than they, the thin flame flies,
The low light fails us in elusive skies,
foild earnest ear is deaf, and blind
Are still the eluded eyes.
Not thee, O never thee, in all times changes,
Not thee, but this the sound of thy sad soul,
shadow of thy swift spirit, this shut scroll
I lay my hand on, and not death estranges
My spirit from communion
of thy song
These memories and these melodies that throng
Veild porches of a Muse funereal
I salute, these touch, these clasp and fold
As though a hand were in my hand to hold,
Or through mine
ears a mourning musical
Of many mourners rolld.
I among these, I also, in such station
As when the pyre was charrd, and piled the sods,
offering to the dead made, and their gods,
The old mourners had, standing to make libation,
I stand, and
to the Gods and to the dead
Do reverence without prayer or praise, and shed
Offering to these unknown,
the gods of gloom,
And what of honey and spice my seed-lands bear,
And what I may of fruits in this
And lay, Orestes-like, across the tomb
A curl of severd hair.
But by no hand nor any treason stricken,
Not like the low-lying head of Him, the King,
flame that made of Troy a ruinous thing,
Thou liest and on this dust no tears could quicken.
There fall no
tears like theirs that all men hear
Fall tear by sweet imperishable tear
Down the opening leaves of holy
Thee not Orestes, not Electra mourns;
But bending us-ward with memorial urns
high Muses that fulfil all ages
Weep, and our Gods heart yearns.
For, sparing of his sacred strength, not often
Among us darkling here the lord of light
manifest his music and his might
In hearts that open and in lips that soften
With the soft flame and heat
of songs that shine.
Thy lips indeed he touchd with bitter wine,
And nourishd them indeed with bitter
Yet surely from his hand thy souls food came,
The fire that scarrd thy spirit at his flame
and thine hungering heart he fed
Who feeds our hearts with fame.
Therefore he too now at thy souls sunsetting,
God of all suns and songs, he too bends down
mix his laurel with thy cypress crown,
And save thy dust from blame and from forgetting.
too, seeing all thou wert and art,
Compassionate, with sad and sacred heart,
Mourns thee of many his
children the last dead,
And hallows with strange tears and alien sighs
Thine unmelodious mouth and sunless
And over thine irrevocable head
Sheds light from the under skies.
And one weeps with him in the ways Lethean,
And stains with tears her changing bosom
That obscure Venus of the hollow hill,
That thing transformd which was the Cytherean,
that lost their Grecian laugh divine
Long since, and face no more calld Erycine
A ghost, a bitter and
Thee also with fair flesh and singing spell
Did she, a sad and second prey, compel
footless places once more trod,
And shadows hot from
And now no sacred staff shall break in blossom,
No choral salutation lure to light
A spirit sick
with perfume and sweet night
And loves tired eyes and hands and barren bosom.
There is no help for
these things; none to mend,
And none to mar; not all our songs, O friend,
Will make death clear or make
Howbeit with rose and ivy and wild vine
And with wild notes about this dust of thine
At least I
fill the place where white dreams dwell
And wreathe an unseen shrine.
Sleep; and if life was bitter to thee, pardon,
If sweet, give thanks; thou hast no more to live;
to give thanks is good, and to forgive.
Out of the mystic and the mournful garden
Where all day through
thine hands in barren braid
Wove the sick flowers of secrecy and shade,
Green buds of sorrow and sin,
and remnants gray,
Sweet-smelling, pale with poison, sanguine-hearted,
Passions that sprang from sleep
and thoughts that started,
Shall death not bring us all as thee one day
Among the days departed?