O Sorrow, cruel fellowship,
      O Priestess in the vaults of Death,
      O sweet and bitter in a breath,
What whispers from thy lying lip?

"The stars," she whispers, "blindly run;
      A web is wov'n across the sky;
      From out waste places comes a cry,
And murmurs from the dying sun;

"And all the phantom, Nature, stands —
      With all the music in her tone,
      A hollow echo of my own, —
A hollow form with empty hande."

And shall I take a thing so blind,
      Embrace her as my natural good;
      Or crush her, like a vice of blood,
Upon the threshold of the mind?

Last modified 22 February 2010