Epilogue to Asolando

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At the midnight in the silence of the sleep-time,
     When you set your fancies free,
Will they pass to where―by death, fools think, imprisoned―
Low he lies who once so loved you, whom you loved so,
     ―Pity me?
 
Oh to love so, be so loved, yet so mistaken!
     What had I on earth to do
With the slothful, with the mawkish, the unmanly?
Like the aimless, helpless, hopeless, did I drivel!
     ―Being―who?
 
One who never turned his back but marched breast forward,
     Never doubted clouds would break,
Never dreamed, though right were worsted, wrong would triumph,
Held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better,
       Sleep to wake.
 
No, at noonday in the bustle of man’s work-time
     Greet the unseen with a cheer!
Bid him forward, breast and back as either should be,
‘Strive and thrive!’ cry, ‘Speed,―fight on, fare ever
     There as here!’
 

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.