Mandragora/A Farewell

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A Farewell
by John Cowper Powys
Published in Mandragora (1917)

A FAREWELL

LIFT not your head before you turn away!
  Let not your eyes grow tender, as they grew
Long since — long since! Oh! it is hard to say
   How long, so cruel-fast that hour flew!
Go, then, and take away with you the light
   Laughter of all the leaves, the pleasant stir
Of all the rain falling on all the flowers;
   You cannot take away with you the night!
That you must leave — Love's Holy Sepulchre;
   Whereat forlorn hope weeps thro' the dead hours.

Go, then, and take with you the tender mist,
   That all these days has floated round the trees,
And gathered in the glens and lightly kissed
   The willows quivering in the scarce- felt breeze;
Take it with you and with it take along
   The vague sweet thoughts that into it I've poured,
Glimpses and dreams, such as the gods afford,
   So rarely, that to earth they scarce belong.
Take them with you! They are far better gone
   Than mirrored in my heart, as on a stone.

Go quickly, with no word, if you must go;
   Nay, it is only pity in your eyes;
Only sweet pity — and too well I know
   How soon that little mist will leave its skies!

Go quickly — for I would not cling to you
   With any desperate ultimate arrest,
And it were hard, if you but raised your hand
   Not to lose all my pride upon your breast.
Then, even now, the sea might drown the sand.
   Go quickly, oh my friend — adieu! adieu!


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1963, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 50 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.