Yet if some voice that man could trust
      Should murmur from the narrow house,
      `The cheeks drop in; the body bows;
Man dies: nor is there hope in dust:'

Might I not say? "Yet even here,
      But for one hour, O Love, I strive
      To keep so sweet a thing alive."
But I should turn mine ears and hear

The moanings of the homeless sea,
      The sound of streams that swift or slow
      Draw down ®onian hills, and sow
The dust of continents to be;

And Love would answer with a sigh,
      "The sound of that forgetful shore
      Will change my sweetness more and more,
Half-dead to know that I shall die."

O me, what profits it to put
      An idle case? If Death were seen
      At first as Death, Love had not been,
Or been in narrowest working shut,

Mere fellowship of sluggish moods,
      Or in his coarsest Satyr-shape
      Had bruised the herb and crush'd the grape,
And bask'd and batten'd in the woods.


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Last modified 14 February 2010