Patrick Regan has kindly shared the material from his George Heath site with readers of the Victorian Web, who may wish to consult the original.

Outside the storm swayed
In the palpable darkness.
      The lamp quivered faintly
On the wan and drawn features,
The white breathing stillness
On a bosom of pillows:
Hands clasped in a tremour,
A fever of waiting,
While wandering, troubling,
The prisoned vitality
Talked down in its silence.
      "Cease, O my spirit,
Cease from thy travail,
Thy deep perturbation;
The darkness is round thee;
Thou art come to the silence,
The winter of nature.
The land of thy promise,
The goodly, the pleasant,
Is slipping and sliding
From under thy footsteps.
The strife of endeavour,
The tumult of peoples,
Lands, races, and cities,
In darklings and glowings,
Turbid forces, mysterious;
Shard fragments of tempests
With pale, silent lightnings,
Are failing and fading,
Are dropping behind me.
      A shore, dim and sorrowful,
Winding hither and thither,
Disconsolate, solitary,
Is around and beneath thee.
      A black fringe of waters,
Laving ever — for ever
Mourning utterly, utterly,
Is nearing and nearing.
      And the new state of being,
The future, the unknown
Eternity of ocean,
Wrapt in duskings and dawnings,
Faintly lit by the glimmerings
Of Faith — the mysterious
And veiled conductor,
Is widening before thee.
The shreds of mortality,
The mistings and fadings
Of dreams that were precious
In life's day of dreaming,
Are trailing about thee.
      And Time, the unwearied,
Beats solemnly, slowly
In the distance — receding
And dying to silence,
As the faint, solemn sweepings,
The wonder-pulsations
Of the harp of Eternity
Swim soft in the borders
Of infinite distance,
And waken the spirit
To the new inspiration
Of marvel and motion.
      Oh, the panting, the panting,
The quiver of tension!
Be still and be patient,
Till the naked tree-stirrings,
The wailings of waters,
And the wind-sobbings fail
On the quick chords of being,
Till the frost-stars that glimmer
Through boundless abysses,
Take on them new meanings;
Be patient, O spirit,
Be patient.
      The calmness
Grows calmer and calmer!
The widening Šther
Hath warm palpitations,
And Life, in suspense
O'er the cold womb of Death,
Waits the new parturition —
In the far-off revealing.
The profluent surges,
Sweep inward and onward,
In a calm preterition,
Eternally, endlessly.
And beyond an horizon
Dimcast and uncertain,
Pale luminous lashes,
Like dawnings of sunlight
In eyes that are blinded,
Flush up the dead vapours,
And mystical breathings
Of an imminent waking
To a great revelation;
Float fainter than whispers.
      Soft! Drifting and drifting,
The bright skirts of hazes
Revolving and folding,
Wrap golden about me.
While, thrilling, recumbent,
On ethereal wing-pulsings
Through thin waves of music,
'Neath gathering splendours
In breathless gradations
Borne glory-ward, floating,
For ever — for ever!
      Lo! death was upon him,
Till the grey of the morning
Broke cold on the moorlands,
And the storm had abated.
Then his features a moment
Flushed out a great radiance;
Then died into blackness,
The blackness of ashes,
As the moon of the midnight
Pours light through a cloud-rift
And is suddenly darkened.
      All was done — and they placed him
In shape for his coffin,
And turned down the lamplight,
Let the few glowing embers
Die down into ashes;
Drop the blind o'er the window
And leave him to darkness.


Victorian Web George Heath Contents


Last modified 4 September 2002