Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE WANDERER: 5. IN HOLLAND: FAILURE, by EDWARD ROBERT BULWER-LYTTON



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THE WANDERER: 5. IN HOLLAND: FAILURE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I have seen those that wore heaven's armor worsted
Last Line: Last sentence!
Alternate Author Name(s): Meredith, Owen; Lytton, 1st Earl Of; Lytton, Robert
Subject(s): Failure; Netherlands; Travel; Holland; Dutch People; Journeys; Trips


I HAVE seen those that wore Heaven's armor worsted:
I have heard Truth lie:
Seen Life, beside the founts for which it thirsted,
Curse God and die:

I have felt the hand, whose touch was rapture, braiding
Among my hair
Love's choicest flowerets, and have found how fading
Those garlands were:

I have watched my first and holiest hopes depart,
One after one:
I have held the hand of Death upon my heart,
And made no moan:

I have seen her whom life's whole sacrifice
Was made to keep,
Pass coldly by me with a stranger's eyes,
Yet did not weep:

Now even my body fails me; and my brow
Aches night and day:
I am weak with over-work: how can I now
Go forth and play?

What! now that Youth's forgotten aspirations
Are all no more,
Rest there, indeed, all Youth's glad recreations,
-- An untried store?

Alas, what skills this heart of sad experience,
This frame o'erwrought,
This memory with life 's motion all at variance,
This aching thought?

How shall I come, with these, to follow pleasure
Where others find it?
Will not their sad steps mar the merriest measure,
Or lag behind it?

Still must the man move sadlier for the dreams
That mocked the boy;
And, having failed to achieve, must still, it seems,
Fail to enjoy.

It is no common failure, to have failed
Where man hath given
A whole life's effort to the task assailed --
Spent earth on heaven.

If error and if failure enter here,
What helps repentance?
Remember this, O Lord, in thy severe
Last sentence!





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