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.

Softly float about me, Music,
      Wrap me up in soothing calms,
Wile my spirit of its demon,
      With the magic of thy psalms;
Wave the meadow's russet fruitage,
      Thrill the ivy's clasping bars,
Wake the mountain's bass intonings,
      Stir the lilac's bloom of stars;
Loose the fountain of my being,
      Rouse my pulses' languid beat —
Let me lose the world a little,
      Find my wings and fold my feet.
I am tired of all the doing,
      Tired of all I've sung and wrought,
And my brow is damp with anguish,
      And my soul is sick with thought:
And the jar and incompleteness
      Of the things around oppress,
And the sense of baffled yearning,
      And the imploring tenderness,
And the hauntings of the vanished,
      And the sin and the regret,
That upon me lie so heavy,
      I would fain awhile forget.
Thrill around me, mystic music,
      Break in many a slumberous fall,
Charm me of my spirit's darkness,
      As of old the sullen Saul.
Let me taste Imagination's
      Sibyl-cup with Lethe blent;
Let my soul expand unfettered
      In her own wide element;
Let me drift along the twilight
      On the white aerial streams,
Starred with Fancy's constellations,
      Misted with the balm of dreams;
Let me feel the dew about me,
      Sunk on languorous asphodels,
Palm and laurel shadow-braided,
      Philter-charmed with opiate spells;
Let me feel the downy wafting
      Of innumerable wings;
Feel the touch, and gain warm glimpses
      Of the rarest fairy things;
Till a white aurora gathers
      Up my starless arc of sky,
And a love-winged Iris beckons
      'Cross a summer realm of joy.
Wrap me from myself, O music,
      On thy surging sea of balms: —
Quiet — quiet — let me slumber
      On the lulling after-calms.

      *      *       *      *       *      *

And thereupon a dreamy dreaming came.
If I should wake no more? — Oh, hope desired!
How will this body fare — will it repose,
Untouched, unseen by one adventurous eye,
Until the storms have beat it into dust?
Or will it sleep, in widely scattered dust
Where the fair winds of heaven excite the storms,
A fragment in the ambush of the fox;
One in the sea-haunt of the cormorant;
Another in the eagle's eyrie home?
Where will their ashes sleep? Oh! wearisome
And long is life — bold, friendless, hopeless, bad!
How sweet is sleep when one is wearied out!
How sweet is death when life is gone to aye!
Methinks that I could sleep upon the crest
Of any restless wave, as did my Master
Upon the raging sea of Galilee —
I am so tired; come to me, gentle sleep!


Victorian Web George Heath Contents


Last modified 4 September 2002