Arthur Symons

(28 February 1865 – 22 January 1945 / Milford Havens, Wales)

A Litany of Lethe


O Lethe, hidden waters never dry,
We, all we weary and heavy-laden, cry,
O Lethe, let us find thee and forget!

--All we have sinnèd, and yet the scars remain.
--And we, all we had sorrow.--And we had pain.
O Lethe, let us find thee and forget!

Thou that dost flow from Death to Death through Sleep,
Whose waters are the tears of those that weep,
O Lethe, let us find thee and forget!

Thou that dost bring sweet peace to hospitals,
And to the captive openest prison-walls,
O Lethe, let us find thee and forget!

Thou that dost loose the soul from murdered Truth,
And youth from yesterday, and age from youth,
O Lethe, let us find thee and forget!

Thou from lost love remembered sett'st us free
From hopeless love, a lorn eternity;
O Lethe, let us find thee and forget!

Thou from repentance tak'st the sting, from vice
The memory of a forfeit Paradise;
O Lethe, let us find thee and forget!

Thou in our grief dost hide from us no less
The anguish of remembered happiness;
O Lethe, let us find thee and forget!

Thou that dost lay alike on all thy spell,
And free the saint from heaven, the wretch from hell,
O Lethe, let us find thee and forget!

Bring, bring soft sleep, and close all eyes for us,
Sleep without dreams, and peace oblivious;
O Lethe, let us find thee and forget!

We, all we weary and heavy-laden, cry,
Too tired to live, and yet too weak to die,
O Lethe, let us find thee and forget!

Submitted: Tuesday, March 20, 2012

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