Francis Thompson


To The Sinking Sun


How graciously thou wear'st the yoke
Of use that does not fail!
The grasses, like an anchored smoke,
Ride in the bending gale;
This knoll is snowed with blosmy manna,
And fire-dropt as a seraph's mail.

Here every eve thou stretchest out
Untarnishable wing,
And marvellously bring'st about
Newly an olden thing;
Nor ever through like-ordered heaven
Moves largely thy grave progressing.

Here every eve thou goest down
Behind the self-same hill,
Nor ever twice alike go'st down
Behind the self-same hill;
Nor like-ways is one flame-sopped flower
Possessed with glory past its will.

Not twice alike! I am not blind,
My sight is live to see;
And yet I do complain of thy
Weary variety.
O Sun! I ask thee less or more,
Change not at all, or utterly!

O give me unprevisioned new,
Or give to change reprieve!
For new in me is olden too,
That I for sameness grieve.
O flowers! O grasses! be but once
The grass and flower of yester-eve!

Wonder and sadness are the lot
Of change: thou yield'st mine eyes
Grief of vicissitude, but not
Its penetrant surprise.
Immutability mutable
Burthens my spirit and the skies.

O altered joy, all joyed of yore,
Plodding in unconned ways!
O grief grieved out, and yet once more
A dull, new, staled amaze!
I dream, and all was dreamed before,
Or dream I so? the dreamer says. 




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