Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TOWARDS DEMOCRACY: PART 2. TO ONE WHO IS WHERE THE ETERNAL ARE, by EDWARD CARPENTER



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TOWARDS DEMOCRACY: PART 2. TO ONE WHO IS WHERE THE ETERNAL ARE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Pass friend pass
Last Line: A great star, growing, shining.
Subject(s): Death; Friendship; Love; Memory; Dead, The


PASS friend pass:
Lest body and soul with desire I be consumed,
Pass, pass from me.
Your eyes burn in upon me. Out of the night,
Out of the darks of time, flashing, out of the still
Still height I cannot attain to, solemnly
Stedfastly gazing—
Their light pierces my brain.

O this is cruel!
Knowing that I cannot attain,
Why do you mock me?—passing me like a shadow,
Passing, passing, and again returning;
In the night within me like a great star shining,
In the world without passing me like a shadow.

If I were the yellow sands your feet once trod,
By the deep blue where they were still delaying;
Were I the sea that clipped your body round,
The shores, the ships,—
Ah me!—
Were I the thing your hand most idly touched,
The light that fell upon your Southern home.
The murmur of the forest in your ears,
Where you, friend, once walked, dreaming!

Time answers like the closing of a door,
I am an exile. The swift years have set
Their gulf between us—you are safe from me;
Torment me then no longer: pass O pass,
Kiss me with shadowy lips, and pass from me.

I see the deep gulf roll below me now—
The leaden-colored flood, the scum, the swirl,
The shadow-peopled banks.
I feel the cold dank wind: Death blows upon it.
I reel upon the edge—
Sickness comes o'er me, clammy faintness, death.

2

Now am I near to Death.
The world for me is changed. The noiseless wing
Sways over all. The mountains are unreal,
The stones I walk on are not stones, the air
Breathes from another world, the voices call,
The hands I grasp remind me. All is still,
Still as deep night within. Without, the world
Hangs beautiful and distant like a vision.

Hush! all is silent.—
Now it is very near.
Noiselessly through the darkness, noiselessly
Gliding—ah! nearer nearer!
Softly out of the night, with soft step stealing
Nearer, ah, nearer!
With faint breath over Ocean, fresh and cool,
Death! death! O friend,
O far-infolder, speak! Is it Thou indeed
Pouring faint fragrance, drowning drowning me
Out of the world at length?—at length O friend,
O hesitating long!

Ah! let me die!
Snatch me thou Wonderful,
Thou with Almighty arms, enfold me, crush me
Close through all creature-pain at length to Thee.

3

The passion is gone past.
Now know I that death has been near me all my life—that it is a part
of my life.
O beautiful Ocean! O dim fluid plains and aerial distances!
O headland where I stand for ever gazing!]

The passion is gone past.
O friend, pale friend, stay with me now I pray.
Your eyes no more
Out of the dark consume me—fitfully flashing
Where the great waves break, weary without end.
Swaying swaying, softly eternally swaying,
The flood lies calm now. Stay with me then I pray.
Dwell with me through the day;
And through the night, and where it is neither night nor day,
Dwell quietly. Pass pass not any more.

Thou canst not pass.
I too am where thou art: through all this life
I walk the quiet kingdoms of the dead
Fast hand in hand with thee.
Press now the sweet life of thy lips on mine;
I hold thee fast:
Not by the yellow sands nor the blue deep,
But in my heart thy heart of hearts—
a great star, growing, shining.





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