by Humbert Wolfe (1885 - 1940)

Language: English 
When the spark that glittered
  flakes into ash,
and the spirit unfettered
  is done with flesh,

when all that wonder,
  this loveliness
of heart lies under
  the sleepy grass,

and slow are the swift,
  and dark the fair,
and sweet voices lift,
  not on the air,

when the long spell
  of dust lies on
all that was well
  bethought upon,

of all that lovely,
  of all those brief
hopes that went bravely
  beyond belief,

of life's deep blazon
  with love's gold stain
passing all reason
  doth aught remain?

What need of answer?
  Bird chaunting priest,
dawn swings her censer
  of bloom-white mist,

noon from her shoulder
  lets her sun-shawl
half loose, half hold her,
  and drifing fall,

and evening slowly
  by hill and wood
perfects her holy

unasked, undaunted
  by love, or what
the heart has wanted,
  and wanteth not.

Unasked? Say rather
  that these will startle
tomorrow other
  hearts with mortal

beauty they had
  from us, as we
  that legacy.

Undaunted? Yes,
  since death can lend
to loveliness
  only an end

that with the beginning
  is one designed,
one shape, one meaning
  beyond the mind.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:56
Line count: 56
Word count: 188