Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DIRGE, by THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

DIRGE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Let us keep him warm
Last Line: Slumbers young desire.
Subject(s): Desire; Transience; Impermanence


LET us keep him warm,
Stir the dying fire:
Upon his tired arm
Slumbers young Desire.

Soon, ah, very soon
We too shall not know
Either sun or moon,
Either grass or snow.

Others in our place
Come to laugh and weep,
Win or lose the race,
And to fall asleep.

Let us keep him warm,
Stir the dying fire:
Upon his tired arm
Slumbers young Desire.

What does all avail--
Love, or power, or gold?
Life is like a tale
Ended ere 't is told.

Much is left unsaid,
Much is said in vain--
Shall the broken thread
Be taken up again?

Let us keep him warm,
Stir the dying fire:
Upon his tired arm
Slumbers young Desire.

Kisses one or two
On his eyelids set,
That, when all is through,
He may not forget.

He has far to go--
Is it East or West?
Whither? Who may know!
Let him take his rest.

Wind, and snow, and sleet--
So the long night dies.
Draw the winding-sheet,
Cover up his eyes.

Let us keep him warm,
Stir the dying fire:
Upon his tired arm
Slumbers young Desire.





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