After Prayers, Lie Cold

Clive Staples Lewis 1898 (Clive Staples Lewis Belfast) – 1963 (Oxford)



Arise my body, my small body, we have striven
Enough, and He is merciful; we are forgiven.
Arise small body, puppet-like and pale, and go,
White as the bed-clothes into bed, and cold as snow,
Undress with small, cold fingers and put out the light,
And be alone, hush'd mortal, in the sacred night,
-A meadow whipt flat with the rain, a cup
Emptied and clean, a garment washed and folded up,
Faded in colour, thinned almost to raggedness
By dirt and by the washing of that dirtiness.
Be not too quickly warm again. Lie cold; consent
To weariness' and pardon's watery element.
Drink up the bitter water, breathe the chilly death;
Soon enough comes the riot of our blood and breath.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on April 27, 2023

37 sec read
104

Quick analysis:

Scheme AABBCCDDEEFGHH
Closest metre Iambic hexameter
Characters 687
Words 124
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 14

Clive Staples Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis was a British novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, broadcaster, lecturer, and Christian apologist. He held academic positions at both Oxford University and Cambridge University. more…

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