Roden Berkeley Wriothesley Noel

(1834-1894 / England)

Nocturne - Poem by Roden Berkeley Wriothesley Noel

The shadowy portals of dim death
Unfold alluringly,
And all my soul importuneth
Unfathomed worlds for thee!
O ye illimitable realms
Of awful amplitude,
From your immensity that whelms
I crave one only good!
From unimaginable wealth
My soul demands but this,
Nor fame, nor power, nor gold, nor health,
A little child's warm kiss!
If I may feel him when I part,
And if he greets me then,
Unsorrowing will my weary heart
Forsake the haunts of men.
Ah me! engulfed in the wild storm,
That drifts the lost like leaves,
Mine arms may never clasp thy form,
Where a still water heaves,
Where God's own sunlight cleaves to thee,
My holy little child!
Yet through a storm-rent might I see
Thy joy, my undefiled,
I deem that I could bear my fate,
However dark and drear;
But I behold no Heaven's gate
From our confusion here!
I think the love between us twain
May raise me for awhile;
Yet if the shadow of my pain
Would only cloud thy smile,
Ah! move not near me, till my doom
Of whirlwind, ice, and fire
Be all accomplished in the gloom,
And I be lifted higher!
Our Love shall save, whate'er delays,
And thou be fain of all thy dole!
Dear Love hath many secret ways,
Whereby She steals from soul to soul;
Are any hells beyond the rays
Of Her all-healing miracle?
If the Abysses could devour
Thy love and mine, then all were lost:
But where Love breathes, a fadesless flower
May bloom from Death's inveterate frost!
And though the fiends would whelm me low
With mine own sins for ponderous stones,
Child-angels all around me flow;
I loved them; they have heard my moans!

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

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