Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SUNRISE AND SUNSET: 2. SUNSET, by GEORGE BARLOW (1847-1913)

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

SUNRISE AND SUNSET: 2. SUNSET, by            
First Line: Ah! - here I stand and dream, and sunset's red dominions
Last Line: Wins, when all lesser loves are past.
Subject(s): Love; Old Age; Passion

Ah!—Here I stand and dream, and sunset's red dominions
Burn, high before my sight.
Who am I that my thought should stretch young eager pinions
Towards the far golden morning-light?

Between me and the past lie fields on fields of sorrow:
Yet, brown-eyed maiden, thee
I have to-day—and perhaps to-morrow,—and to-morrow,—
And then the dark night, and the sea.

Once more before my death, old dreams and thoughts romantic
Have leaped up high again:
And passion's wind with laugh half silver-sweet half frantic,
Has swept around the shores of pain.

I weary and old and far beyond the sound of chiming
Of fair youth's silver bells
Have plunged anew for thee amid the waves of rhyming
And sought for thee the haunted fells.

Yes: I have found a love,—and yet a fair white sister
In her, too, I have found.
I felt my soul awake when my glad lips had kissed her,
With more than common passion crowned.

For ever it is the soul that gives all joy to passion:—
The slightest gift is sweet
If given in soulful holy virginal white fashion;
The red lips need not even meet.

Beyond all love, the love that loves just for the pleasure
Of giving love away:
And this,—the love of God,—can never lose its treasure
Nor see joy's rose wings turn to grey.

Beyond all love the love that, full of deepest yearning,
Can still that yearning deep,
And wait,—though far within the great soul-fires are burning
And through the soul wild longings leap.

This is the love that wins. And though to mortal seeming
It win not here at all;
Though half its triumph seem to careless eyes mere dreaming,
Mere staring at a granite wall;

Yet still I say that this, the love of soul, prevaileth,
And no love else at last:
Is all afire with joy when every faint love paleth,—
Wins, when all lesser loves are past.

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