While death and darkness girdle meI grope for immortality.
Come! our world is done:For all the witchery of the world is fled,And lost all wanton wisdom long since won.
Vanquished in life, his death By beauty made amends: The passing of his breath Won his defeated ends.
Our wearier spirit faints, Vexed in the world's employ: His soul was of the saints; And art to him was joy.
I fight thee, in the Holy Name! Yet, what thou dost, is what God saith: Tempter! should I escape thy flame, Thou wilt have helped my soul from Death: The second Death, that never dies, That cannot die, when time is dead: Live Death, wherein the lost soul cries, Eternally uncomforted.
Now from the broken tower, what solemn bell still tolls, Mourning what piteous death? Answer, O saddened souls! Who mourn the death of beauty and the death of grace.
The winds are sometimes sad to me, The starry spaces, full of fear; Mine is the sorrow on the sea, And mine the sigh of places drear. Some players upon plaintive strings Publish their wistfulness abroad; I have not spoken of these things, Save to one man, and unto God.
What comes now? The earth awaits What fierce wonder from the skies? Thunder, trampling through the night? Morning, with illustrious eyes? Morning, from the springs of light: Thunder, round Heaven's opening gates.
Through thee, the gracious Muses turn, To Furies, O mine Enemy! And all the things of beauty burn With flames of evil ecstasy. Because of thee, the land of dreams Becomes a gathering place of fears: Until tormented slumber seems One vehemence of useless tears.
King, tried in fires of woe! Men hunger for thy grace: And through the night I go, Loving thy mournful face. Yet, when the city sleeps; When all the cries are still: The stars and heavenly deeps Work out a perfect will.
Which are more full of fate: The stars; or those sad eyes? Which are more still and great: Those brows; or the dark skies?