My weary life, that lives unsatisfied
On the foiled off-brink of being e'er but this,
To whom the power to will hath been denied
And the will to renounce doth also miss;
My sated life, with having nothing sated,
In the motion of moving poisèd aye,
Within its dreams from its own dreams abated—
This life let the Gods change or take away.
For this endless succession of empty hours,
Like deserts after deserts, voidly one,
Doth undermine the very dreaming powers
And dull even thought's active inaction,
Tainting with fore-unwilled will the dreamed act
Twice thus removed from the unobtained fact.
I do not know what truth the false untruth
Of this sad sense of the seen world may own,
Or if this flowered plant bears also a fruit
Unto the true reality unknown.
But as the rainbow, neither earth's nor sky's,
Stands in the dripping freshness of lulled rain,
A hope, not real yet not fancy's, lies
Athwart the moment of our ceasing pain.
Somehow, since pain is felt yet felt as ill,
Hope hath a better warrant than being hoped;
Since pain is felt as aught we should not feel
Man hath a Nature's reason for having groped,
Since Time was Time and age and grief his measures,
Towards a better shelter than Time's pleasures.