William Ernest Henley


* * *


From the brake the Nightingale
Sings exulting to the Rose;
Though he sees her waxing pale
In her passionate repose,
While she triumphs waxing frail,
Fading even while she glows;
Though he knows
How it goes -
Knows of last year's Nightingale
Dead with last year's Rose.

Wise the enamoured Nightingale,
Wise the well-beloved Rose!
Love and life shall still prevail,
Nor the silence at the close
Break the magic of the tale
In the telling, though it shows -
Who but knows
How it goes! -
Life a last year's Nightingale,
Love a last year's Rose. 




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