Poor faltering lines, my weary soul’s relief,
The balm of passion, opiate of pain.
A mightier hand than mine, a mightier brain,
Had wrought in you an immemorial grief.
But though my love and art both prove in vain,
Wither and die with me, I had as lief
That it were so; respite however brief
Is all-sufficient to the living-slain.
For separate voices sink at eventide,
And none survives the creeping hush of time,
Nought lives but life; the fame of them that died
Brings back no vestige of their lovely prime,
Fame and oblivion shall merge again
In nameless loves and laughter, tears and pain.