If now I set with evening sun,
Great Nature does not weep;
A few are saddened for an hour
Then rest, eat, smile and sleep;
And somehow real, undestroyed,
Remains the evening sky,
Unconscious of its emptiness
Without the grey cloud, I.
If someone loved me, yet my heart
Would not be put at ease:
Poor sickly mongrels are the dead
In human memories;
Poor puppets whom a loose caprice
Commands to rest or run;
Vapours of night, that vanish with
The rise of any sun!
In better tomb could Pharaoh lodge
Than in a memory fond?
But no one loves me, so my soul
Goes mad and leaps beyond;
The whore Imagination flaunts
"Eternally there mourns for you
Some essence beyond sense!"
If any immaterial thing
Draw transcendental breath,
Small matter is my death.
"Whoever chooses to love God
On God's love has no claim":
Spinoza's God, indeed, would know;
To him it's all the same.
This Jesus, who met lonely death
On oriental hill,
By magic of man's reverence
Breathes and has power still;
If he had lived as common man
Twice through Methuselah's years,
How much the poorer his account
In human joys and tears!
The world, till lately, had a heart;
By will of king or priest
Would murder men of principle
Then love the man, at least.
This martyr for an unknown cause
All causes could acquire,
And reaped a duteous world's regrets
At doing its desire.
Such Death had more of life in it
Than life may hope to find!
Now, life too lively for this death,
Death waits for it behind.
But yet - though mortal is his death
And not his life alone -
Sweeter, for such long-living death,
The chalice - had he known.
"We never die: like beams of light
We shine through history!":
The Godless, too, may find our pinch
Diffused and soon invisible,
Why share the common lot:
Get sons, and hope to live in them,
And live to know them not.