Cordula's Web. Flickr. Boring Cave, near Colorado Springs.
Flickr. Boring Cave, near Colorado Springs. Chang'r. Gallery 40
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Requiem

Edith Nesbit

Now veiled in the inviolable past
Love lies asleep, who never more will wake;
Nor would you wake him, even for my sake
Who for your sake pray he sleep sound at last.

What good thing had we of him, we who bore
So long his yoke? what pleasant thing had we
That we should weep his deathlong sleep to see,
Or call on Life to waken him once more?

A little joy he gave, and much of pain,
A little pleasure, and enduring grief,
One flower of joy, and pain piled sheaf on sheaf,
Harvests of loss, for every bud of gain.

Yet where he lies in this deserted place
Divided by his narrow grave we sit,
Welded together by the depths of it,
Watching the years pass, with averted face.

We do not mourn for him, for here is peace;
The old unrest frets not these empty years;
With him went smiles a few, and many tears,
And peace is sweeter far than those or these.

Only, we owe him nothing. If he gave,
We too gave gifts, his gifts were less than ours:
We gave the world, that held so many flowers
For this, the world that only holds his grave.


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