THE JOYFUL WISDOM
While beauty in my face is,
With piety I'll stand,
When age has killed my graces,
Let Satan claim my hand!
Yester-eve, when all things slept—
Scarce a breeze to stir the lane—
I a restless vigil kept,
Nor from pillows sleep could gain,
Nor from poppies nor—most sure
Of opiates—a conscience pure.
Thoughts of rest I 'gan forswear,
Rose and walked along the strand.
Found, in warm and moonlit air,
Man and boat upon the sand,
Drowsy both, and drowsily
Did the boat put out to sea.
Passed an hour or two perchance,
Or a year? then thought and sense
Vanished in the engulfing trance
Of a vast Indifference.
Fathomless, abysses dread
Opened—then the vision fled.
Morning came: becalmed, the boat
Rested on the purple flood:
"What had happened?" every throat
Shrieked the question: "was there—Blood?"
Naught had happened! On the swell
We had slumbered, oh, so well!