Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, REQUIESCAT, by EDWARD ROBERT BULWER-LYTTON

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REQUIESCAT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I sought to build a deathless monument
Last Line: Lie calm among my ruined thoughts and deeds.
Alternate Author Name(s): Meredith, Owen; Lytton, 1st Earl Of; Lytton, Robert
Subject(s): Travel; Journeys; Trips

I SOUGHT to build a deathless monument
To my dead love. Therein I meant to place
All precious things, and rare: as Nature blent
All single sweetnesses in one sweet face.
I could not build it worthy her mute merit,
Nor worthy her white brows and holy eyes,
Nor worthy of her perfect and pure spirit,
Nor of my own immortal memories.
But, as some rapt artificer of old,
To enshrine the ashes of a virgin saint,
Might scheme to work with ivory, and fine gold,
And carven gems, and legended and quaint
Seraphic heraldries; searching far lands,
Orient and occident, for all things rare
To consecrate the toil of reverent hands
And make his labor, like her virtue fair;
Knowing no beauty beautiful as she,
And all his labor void, but to beguile
A sacred sorrow; so I worked. Ah, see
Here are the fragments of my shattered pile!
I keep them, and the flowers that sprang between
Their broken workmanship -- the flowers and weeds!
Sleep soft among the violets, O my Queen, --
Lie calm among my ruined thoughts and deeds.

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