Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MELANCHOLY, by ROBERT SEYMOUR BRIDGES

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

MELANCHOLY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Twas mid of the moon but the night was dark with rain
Last Line: If only he sleep and sleep and have rest for evermore.
Alternate Author Name(s): Bridges, Robert+(2)
Subject(s): Melancholy; Dejection

'TWAS mid of the moon but the night was dark with rain,
Drops lashed the pane, the wind howl'd under the door;
For me, my heart heard nought but the cannon-roar
On fields of war, where Hell was raging amain:
My heart was sore for the slain:—
As when on an Autumn plain the storm lays low the wheat,
So fell the flower of England, her golden grain,
Her harvesting hope trodden under the feet
Of Moloch, Woden and Thor,
And the lovingkindness of Christ held in disdain.
My heart gave way to the strain, renouncing more and more;
Its bloodstream fainted down to the slothful weary beat
Of the age-long moment, that swelleth where ages meet,
Marking time 'twixt dark Hereafter and Long-before;
Which greet awhile and awhile, again to retreat;
The Never-the-same repeating again and again,
Completing itself in monotony incomplete,
A wash of beauty and horror in shadows that fleet,
Always the Never-the-same still to repeat,
The devouring glide of a dream that keepeth no store.
Meseem'd I stood on the flats of a waveless shore,
Where MELANCHOLY unrobed of her earthly weeds,
Haunteth in naked beauty without stain;
In reconcilement of Death, and Vanity of all needs;
A melting of life in oblivion of all deeds;
No other beauty nor passion nor love nor lore;
No other goddess abideth for man to adore;
All things remaining nowhere with nought to remain;
The consummation of thought in nought to attain.
I had come myself to that ultimate Ocean-shore,
Like Labourer Love when his life-day is o'er,
Who home returning fatigued is fain to regain
The house where he was unconsciously born of yore;
Stumbling on the threshold he sinketh down on the floor;
Half-hearteth a prayer as he lieth, and nothing heeds,
If only he sleep and sleep and have rest for evermore.

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