Five Branch Tree

  • --Edgar Allen Poe

    Thy soul shall find itself alone
    ?Mid dark thoughts of the gray tombstone--
    Not one, of all the crowd, to pry
    Into thine hour of secrecy.

    Be silent in that solitude,
    ...Which is not loneliness- for then
    The spirits of the dead who stood
    ...In life before thee are again
    In death around thee- and their will
    Shall overshadow thee: be still.

    The night, tho? clear, shall frown--
    And the stars shall look not down
    From their high thrones in the heaven,
    With light like Hope to mortals given--
    But their red orbs, without beam,
    To thy weariness shall seem
    As a burning and a fever
    Which would cling to thee for ever.

    Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish,
    Now are visions ne?er to vanish;
    From thy spirit shall they pass
    No more- like dew-drop from the grass.

    The breeze- the breath of God- is still-
    And the mist upon the hill,
    Shadow- shadowy- yet unbroken,
    Is a symbol and a token-
    How it hangs upon the trees,
    A mystery of mysteries!

  • After all, what is every man? A horde of ghosts-- like a Chinese nest of boxes-- oaks that were acorns that were oaks. Death lies behind us, not in front-- in our ancestors, back and back until... 
    -- from 'The Return'; Walter de la Mare (1910)

  • Two Epitaphs
    --Walter de la Mare 
    Ye say we sleep;
    But nay, we wake;
    Life was that strange and chequered dream
    Only for waking?s sake. 
    O passer-by, beware!
    Is the day fair??
    Yet unto evening shall the day spin on
    And soon thy sun be gone;
    Then darkness come,
    And this, a narrow home.
    Not that I bid thee fear;
    Only, when thou at last lie here,
    Bethink thee, there shall only be
    .....Thyself for company.

  • All loves and dreams and sounds and gleams of night
    ......Made it all music that such minstrels may,
    And all they had they gave it of delight;
    ......But in the full face of the fire of day
    What place shall be for any starry light,
    ......What part of heaven in all the wide sun's way? 
    Yet the soul woke not, sleeping by the way,
     .....Watched as a nursling of the large-eyed night,
    And sought no strength nor knowledge of the day,
    ......Nor closer touch conclusive of delight,
    Nor mightier joy nor truer than dreamers may,
    ......Nor more of song than they, nor more of light. 
    For who sleeps once and sees the secret light
    .....Whereby sleep shows the soul a fairer way
    Between the rise and rest of day and night,
    ......Shall care no more to fare as all men may,
    But be his place of pain or of delight,
    ......There shall he dwell, beholding night as day. 
    --from 'Sestina'; Algernon Charles Swinburne

  • [ Landscape at Dusk ; Vincent van Gogh (1885) ]......