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Prologue

William Ernest Henley 1849 (Gloucester) – 1903 (Woking)



Something is dead . . .
The grace of sunset solitudes, the march
Of the solitary moon, the pomp and power
Of round on round of shining soldier-stars
Patrolling space, the bounties of the sun -
Sovran, tremendous, unimaginable -
The multitudinous friendliness of the sea,
Possess no more--no more.

Something is dead . . .
The Autumn rain-rot deeper and wider soaks
And spreads, the burden of Winter heavier weighs,
His melancholy close and closer yet
Cleaves, and those incantations of the Spring
That made the heart a centre of miracles
Grow formal, and the wonder-working bours
Arise no more--no more.

Something is dead . . .
'Tis time to creep in close about the fire
And tell grey tales of what we were, and dream
Old dreams and faded, and as we may rejoice
In the young life that round us leaps and laughs,
A fountain in the sunshine, in the pride
Of God's best gift that to us twain returns,
Dear Heart, no more--no more.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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William Ernest Henley

William Ernest Henley was an English poet, critic and editor, best remembered for his 1875 poem "Invictus". more…

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