Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
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Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
 
II. Rest
Dirge
By Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)
 
NOW is done thy long day’s work;
Fold thy palms across thy breast,
Fold thine arms, turn to thy rest.
            Let them rave.
Shadows of the silver birk        5
Sweep the green that folds thy grave.
            Let them rave.
 
Thee nor carketh care nor slander;
Nothing but the small cold worm
Fretteth thine enshrouded form.        10
            Let them rave.
Light and shadow ever wander
O’er the green that folds thy grave.
            Let them rave.
 
Thou wilt not turn upon thy bed;        15
Chaunteth not the brooding bee
Sweeter tones than calumny?
            Let them rave.
Thou wilt never raise thine head
From the green that folds thy grave.        20
            Let them rave.
 
Crocodiles wept tears for thee;
The woodbine and eglatere
Drip sweeter dews than traitor’s tear.
            Let them rave.        25
Rain makes music in the tree
O’er the green that folds thy grave.
            Let them rave.
 
Round thee blow, self-pleached deep,
Bramble-roses, faint and pale,        30
And long purples of the dale.
            Let them rave.
These in every shower creep
Thro’ the green that folds thy grave.
            Let them rave.        35
 
The gold-eyed kingcups fine;
The frail bluebell peereth over
Rare broidry of the purple clover.
            Let them rave.
Kings have no such couch as thine,        40
As the green that folds thy grave.
            Let them rave.
 
Wild words wander here and there;
God’s great gift of speech abused
Makes thy memory confused:        45
            But let them rave.
The balm-cricket carols clear
In the green that folds thy grave.
            Let them rave.
 
 
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