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A NIGHT THOUGHT; WRITTEN IN ILLNESS, by                    
First Line: Rest dwells not on my brain to-night
Last Line: Among the dead.
Alternate Author Name(s): Brooke, Arthur
Subject(s): Despair; Memory; Past


REST dwells not on my brain to-night—
But far o'er gone and coming things
My fancy takes its dreary flight
Upborne by forced and wearied wings.
Whate'er of past affliction clings
To Memory is revived once more,
And if there from the future springs
A doubt—a dread—'tis felt before.
Thus he who tracks the desert o'er
Looks back but on the path of pains,
And onward hears the gathering roar
Of storms amid the engulfing plains.
And thus the captive quits his chains
To walk but in the wider cell
Of the void world, when nought remains
Of all which once he loved so well;
Upon the past he may not dwell,
'Tis slavery—torture—madness there,
And coming years, more horrible,
But the dread gulf of blank despair!
How can the wasted spirit bear
The ills which e'en the happiest know,
That feels, alas! it may not share
The joys that soothe e'en guilt and woe.
'Twere well if that impending blow,
Which trembling thousands daily dread,
Before the morn would lay one low
Among the dead.

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