William Morris

(1834 - 1896 / England)

Hope Dieth: Hope Liveth


Strong are thine arms, O love, & strong
Thine heart to live, and love, and long;
But thou art wed to grief and wrong:
Live, then, and long, though hope be dead!
Live on, & labour thro’ the years!
Make pictures through the mist of tears,
Of unforgotten happy fears,
That crossed the time ere hope was dead.
Draw near the place where once we stood
Amid delight’s swift-rushing flood,
And we and all the world seemed good
Nor needed hope now cold and dead.
Dream in the dawn I come to thee
Weeping for things that may not be!
Dream that thou layest lips on me!
Wake, wake to clasp hope’s body dead!
Count o’er and o’er, and one by one
The minutes of the happy sun
That while agone on kissed lips shone,
Count on, rest not, for hope is dead.
Weep, though no hair’s breadth thou shalt move
The living Earth, the heaven above
By all the bitterness of love!
Weep and cease not, now hope is dead!
Sighs rest thee not, tears bring no ease,
Life hath no joy, and Death no peace:
The years change not, though they decrease,
For hope is dead, for hope is dead.
Speak, love, I listen: far away
I bless the tremulous lips, that say,
“Mock not the afternoon of day,
Mock not the tide when hope is dead!”
I bless thee, O my love, who say’st:
“Mock not the thistle-cumbered waste;
I hold Love’s hand, and make no haste
Down the long way, now hope is dead.
With other names do we name pain,
The long years wear our hearts in vain.
Mock not our loss grown into gain,
Mock not our lost hope lying dead.
Our eyes gaze for no morning-star,
No glimmer of the dawn afar;
Full silent wayfarers we are
Since ere the noon-tide hope lay dead.
Behold with lack of happiness
The master, Love, our hearts did bless
Lest we should think of him the less:
Love dieth not, though hope is dead!”

Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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