Stops of Various Quills/Sphinx

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Sphinx by William Dean Howells
illustrations by Howard Pyle

Howells, Stops of Various Quills, 1895 069 large a.jpg


SPHINX


WE who are nothing but self, and have no manner of being 
 Save in the sense of self, still have no other delight
Like the relief that comes with the blessed oblivion freeing
 Self from self in the deep sleep of some dreamless night.

Losing alone is finding; the best of being is ceasing
 Now and again to be. Then at the end of this strife,
That which comes, if we will it or not, for our releasing,
 Is it eternal death, or is it infinite life?

Howells, Stops of Various Quills, 1895 001 large f.jpg