Francis Scarfe (1911-1986 / South Shields, England)
Far away is one who now is sleeping
In the same world and the same darkness,
But not in my keeping.
Oh no, my arms could never stretch so far
And my hands trembling with tenderness
Cannot hope to caress
Her limbs, save by remembering what they arc.
Oh no, my words must never reach her ears
That lie so white against her sombre hair,
No, no, she must not hear
My voice that has no happiness to bring,
For she also is lost in a realm where
My cry and my despair
Are out of tune whatever song they sing.
Perhaps as I lie waking she is dreaming,
But not of me, for dreams are not so kind;
While my eyes arc brimming
With images of things that might have been,
And my lips for a prayer for her peace of mind
That, early, she may find
A love more delicate and more serene.
And all my body prays her to forget
One who long cared for her too bitterly,
One who is in her debt
For the clock of suffering that kept, twelve years
The hours of absence and futility,
Who could love utterly
Beyond the meaning of these words and tears.
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