His face was like a snake’s—wrinkl
Swifter far than summer’s flight—
Swifter far than youth’s delight
Swifter far than happy night,
Art thou come and gone—
As the earth when leaves are dead,
And where is truth? On tombs? for
Has been my heart’—and thy dead me
Has lain from childhood, many a ch
Unchangingly preserved and buried
Death! where is thy victory?
To triumph whilst I die,
To triumph whilst thine ebon wing
Enfolds my shuddering soul?
O Death! where is thy sting?
Art thou indeed forever gone,
Forever, ever, lost to me?
Must this poor bosom beat alone,
Or beat at all, if not for thee?
Ah! why was love to mortals given,
Men of England, wherefore plough
For the lords who lay ye low?
Wherefore weave with toil and care
The rich robes your tyrants wear?
Wherefore feed and clothe and save
Come, thou awakener of the spirit’
Zephyr, whom to thy cloud or cave
No thought can trace! speed with t
As from an ancestral oak
Two empty ravens sound their clari
Yell by yell, and croak by croak,
When they scent the noonday smoke
Of fresh human carrion:—
I bring fresh showers for the thir
From the seas and the streams;
I bear light shade for the leaves
In their noonday dreams.
From my wings are shaken the dews
Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory;
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken
Rose leaves, when the rose is dead