O sleep –
To lie upon your breast
(Oh, tears unshed!)
Who will pursue the pilgrims’ quest
When we are dead?
Will others wander the ancient ways
With eyes to see and tongues to praise?
Who knows? And what will it matter to you
Or to me
If the sun weaves threads of gold in the blue
If the mountains are tipped with shining snow
And lovelier far
Than ever we knew -- or know . . . ?
We will fall asleep, like children, and forget.
And yet, and yet
To have seen, to have been,
To have followed a star, is enough.
We have lived as the old gods lived, in all the rough
Glory of Earth unspoiled by man's desire.
So, when the heart's red fire
Flickers to ashes, and the pulses cease,
We will find peace
Remembering how the sunsets, mountains, rain
And quiet things remain.
For love will not alter
Nor the seasons falter
And light will be gleaming
On the sea's face still
When you and I lie dreaming
Under the hill.