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View Diary: Books That Changed My Life--What Is Your Favorite Poem About Death? (94 comments)

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  •  Trying to die (4+ / 0-)

    "here at the quiet limit of the world."  
    TITHONUS
    Alfred Lord Tennyson
     

    The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,
    The vapours weep their burthen to the ground,
    Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
    And after many a summer dies the swan.
    Me only cruel immortality
    Consumes: I wither slowly in thine arms,
    Here at the quiet limit of the world,
    A white-haired shadow roaming like a dream
    The ever-silent spaces of the East,
    Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.

    Alas! for this gray shadow, once a man -
    So glorious in his beauty and thy choice,
    Who madest him thy chosen, that he seemed
    To his great heart none other than a God!
    I asked thee, "Give me immortality."
    Then didst thou grant mine asking with a smile,
    Like wealthy men who care not how they give.
    But thy strong Hours indignant worked their wills,
    And beat me down and marred and wasted me,
    And though they could not end me, left me maimed
    To dwell in presence of immortal youth,
    Immortal age beside immortal youth,
    And all I was, in ashes. Can thy love,
    Thy beauty, make amends, though even now,
    Close over us, the silver star, thy guide,
    Shines in those tremulous eyes that fill with tears
    To hear me? Let me go: take back thy gift:
    Why should a man desire in any way
    To vary from the kindly race of men,
    Or pass beyond the goal of ordinance
    Where all should pause, as is most meet for all?

    A soft air fans the cloud apart; there comes
    A glimpse of that dark world where I was born.
    Once more the old mysterious glimmer steals
    From thy pure brows, and from thy shoulders pure,
    And bosom beating with a heart renewed.
    Thy cheek begins to redden through the gloom,
    Thy sweet eyes brighten slowly close to mine,
    Ere yet they blind the stars, and the wild team
    Which love thee, yearning for thy yoke, arise,
    And shake the darkness from their loosened manes,
    And beat the twilight into flakes of fire.

    Lo! ever thus thou growest beautiful
    In silence, then before thine answer given
    Departest, and thy tears are on my cheek.

    Why wilt thou ever scare me with thy tears,
    And make me tremble lest a saying learnt,
    In days far-off, on that dark earth, be true?
    "The Gods themselves cannot recall their gifts."

    Ay me! ay me! with what another heart
    In days far-off, and with what other eyes
    I used to watch -if I be he that watched -
    The lucid outline forming round thee; saw
    The dim curls kindle into sunny rings;
    Changed with thy mystic change, and felt my blood
    Glow with the glow that slowly crimsoned all
    Thy presence and thy portals, while I lay,
    Mouth, forehead, eyelids, growing dewy-warm
    With kisses balmier than half-opening buds
    Of April, and could hear the lips that kissed
    Whispering I knew not what of wild and sweet,
    Like that strange song I heard Apollo sing,
    While Ilion like a mist rose into towers.

    Yet hold me not for ever in thine East:
    How can my nature longer mix with thine?
    Coldly thy rosy shadows bathe me, cold
    Are all thy lights, and cold my wrinkled feet
    Upon thy glimmering thresholds, when the steam
    Floats up from those dim fields about the homes
    Of happy men that have the power to die,
    And grassy barrows of the happier dead.
    Release me, and restore me to the ground;
    Thou seest all things, thou wilt see my grave:
    Thou wilt renew thy beauty morn by morn;
    I earth in earth forget these empty courts,
    And thee returning on thy silver wheels.

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:11:08 AM PDT

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