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Edith Matilda Thomas (Эдит Матильда Томас)


A Chant of the Fought Field-Nunc Dimittis


As one who under evening skies
Upon a fought field stricken lies
(Unknown for stains of blood and grime)
Is fain the mortal shaft to draw
And let life issue through the flaw,
Even so am I, and even so,
Unhand me, Time, and let me go—
Unhand me, Time!
Upon his clogged and languid sense
Vague cries are borne— he heeds not whence,
Nor if they utter cheer sublime,
Or fill the air with craven moan;
His spirit's fire is all unblown;
Even so is mine— so faint, so low;
Unhand me, Time, and let me go—
Unhand me, Time!
For heaven-truth my sword I drew,
With anger keen I did pursue
Not the frail worker but the crime
He framed in glooming ignorance.
How let who may lift sword and lance,
Or let the rust upon them grow!
Unhand me, Time, and let me go—
Unhand me, Time!
Or well or ill if I have wrought,
My deed was mated with my thought,
As bell with bell in tuneful chime.
All things that fall to man's dear lot
I did receive, and faltered not;
Quick come the last! and even so,
Unhand me, Time, and let me go—
Unhand me, Time!
A dream it was! All that hath been
Now lapseth like some passioned scene
Played by a well-deceiving mime,
Who most of all himself deceives,
And, waking up, regretless leaves.
I reach for substance past the show—
Unhand me, Time, and let me go—
Unhand me, Time!



Edith Matilda Thomas's other poems:
  1. Talking in their Sleep
  2. Breath of Hampstead Heath
  3. Moly
  4. The Mother Who Died Too
  5. The Blessed Present


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