I saw my soul at rest upon a day
As a bird sleeping in the nest of night,
Among soft leaves that give the starlight way
ALL the bright lights of heaven
I will make dark over thee;
One night shall be as seven
WHO hath known the ways of time
Or trodden behind his feet?
There is no such man among men.
Between the wave-ridge and the strand
I let you forth in sight of land,
Songs that with storm-crossed wings and eyes
Strain eastward till the darkness dies;
DEATH, if thou wilt, fain would I plead with thee:
Canst thou not spare, of all our hopes have built,
One shelter where our spirits fain would be,
'Not a child: I call myself a boy,'
Says my king, with accent stern yet mild,
Now nine years have brought him change of joy;
'Not a child.'
Had I wist, when life was like a warm wind playing
Light and loud through sundawn and the dew's bright trust,
How the time should come for hearts to sigh in saying
'Had I wist' -
TAKE HANDS and part with laughter;
Touch lips and part with tears;
Once more and no more after,
Whatever comes with years.
Praise of the knights of old
May sleep: their tale is told,
And no man cares:
The sky and sea glared hard and bright and blank:
Down the one steep street, with slow steps firm and free,