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THE WANDERER: 5. IN HOLLAND: MISANTHROPOS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Day's last light is dying out
Last Line: God succeeds at last!
Alternate Author Name(s): Meredith, Owen; Lytton, 1st Earl Of; Lytton, Robert
Subject(s): Netherlands; Travel; Holland; Dutch People; Journeys; Trips

DAY'S last light is dying out.
All the place grows dim and drear:
See! the grisly bat 's about.
There is nothing left to fear
Little left to doubt.

Not a note of music flits
O'er the slackened harpstrings yonder
From the skeleton that sits
By the broken harp, to ponder
(While the spider knits

Webs in each black socket-hole)
Where is all the music fled.
Music, hath it, then, a goal? ...
Broken harp, and brainless head!
Silent song and soul!

Not a light in yonder sky,
Save that single wicked star,
Leering with its wanton eye
Through the shattered window-bar;
Come to see me die!

All, save this, the monstrous night
Hath erased and blotted bare
As the fool's brain ... God's last light
Winking at the Fiend's work there, --
Wrong made worse by right!

Gone the voice, the face, of yore!
Gone the dream of golden hair!
Gone the garb that Falsehood wore!
Gone the shame of being bare!
We may close the door.

All the guests are slunk away.
Not a footstep on the stairs!
Not a friend here, left to say
"Amen" to a sinner's prayers,
If he cared to pray!

Gone is Friendship's friendliness,
After Love's fidelity:
Gone is Honor in the mess,
Spat upon by Charity:
Faith has fled Distress.

Those grim tipstaves at the gate
Freely may their work begin.
Let them in! they shall not wait.
There is little now within
Left for Scorn and Hate.

O, no doubt the air is foul!
'T is the last lamp spits and stinks,
Shuddering downward in the bowl
Of the socket, from the brinks.
What 's a burned-out soul?

Let them all go, unreproved!
For the source of tears is dried.
What! ... One rests? ...hath nothing moved
That pale woman from my side,
Whom I never loved?

You, with those dim eyes of yours,
Sadder than all eyes save mine!
That dim forehead which immures
Such faint helpless griefs, that pine
For such hopeless cures!

Must you love me, spite of loathing?
Can't you leave me where I 'm lying?
O, ... you wait for our betrothing?
I escape you, though, -- by dying!
Lay out my death-clothing.

Well I would that your white face
Were abolisht out of sight,
With the glory and the grace
Swallowed long ago in night, --
Gone, -- without a trace!

Reach me down my golden harp.
Set it here, beside my knee.
Never fear that I shall warp
All the chords of ecstasy,
Striking them too sharp!

Crown me with my crown of flowers.
Faded roses every one!
Pluckt in those long-perisht bowers,
By the nightshade overrun, --
Fit for brows like ours!

Fill me, now, my golden cup.
Pour the black wine to the brim!
Till within me, while I sup,
All the fires, long quenched and dim,
Flare, one moment, up.

I will sing you a last song.
I will pledge you a last health ...
Here 's to Weakness seeming strong!
Here 's to Want that follows Wealth!
Here 's to Right gone wrong!

Curse me now the Oppressor's rod,
And the meanness of the weak;
And the fool that apes the nod;
And the world at hide and seek
With the wrath of God.

Dreams of man's unvalued good,
By mankind's unholy means!
Curse the people in their mud!
And the wicked Kings and Queens,
Lying by the Rood.

Fill! to every plague ... and first,
Love, that breeds its own decay;
Rotten, ere the blossom burst.
Next, the friend that slinks away,
When you need him worst.

O the world's inhuman ways!
And the heartless social lie!
And the coward, cheapening praise!
And the patience of the sky,
Lighting such bad days!

Cursed be the heritage
Of the sins we have not sinned!
Cursed be this boasting age,
And the blind that lead the blind
O'er its creaking stage!

O the vice within the blood,
And the sin within the sense!
And the fallen angelhood,
With its yearnings, too immense
To be understood!

Curse the hound with beaten hide,
When he turns and licks the hand.
Curse this woman at my side!
And the memory of the land
Where my first love died.

Cursed be the next and most
(With whatever curse most kills),
Me ... the man whose soul is lost;
Fouled by each of all these ills, --
Filled with death and dust!

Take away the harp of gold,
And the empty wine-cup too.
Lay me out: for I grow cold.
There is something dim in view,
Which must pass untold: --

Something dim, and something vast, --
Out of reach of all I say.
Language ceases...husht, aghast.
What am I, to curse or pray?
God succeeds at last!

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