He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sun rise.

by William Blake.

Upon Time And Eternity

Eternity is like unto a Ring.
Time, like to Measure, doth it self extend;
Measure commences, is a finite thing.
The Ring has no beginning, middle, end.

by John Bunyan.

How firm Eternity must look

How firm Eternity must look
To crumbling men like me
The only Adamant Estate
In all Identity -

How mighty to the insecure
Thy Physiognomy
To whom not any Face cohere -
Unless concealed in thee

by Emily Dickinson.

The Unreturning

The old eternal spring once more
Comes back the sad eternal way,
With tender rosy light before
The going-out of day.

The great white moon across my door
A shadow in the twilight stirs;
But now forever comes no more
That wondrous look of Hers.

by Bliss William Carman.

Could Man Be Drunk Forever

Could man be drunk for ever
With liquor, love, or fights,
Lief should I rouse at morning
And lief lie down of nights.

But men at whiles are sober
And think by fits and starts,
And if they think, they fasten
Their hands upon their hearts.

by Alfred Edward Housman.

O years! and age! farewell:
Behold I go,
Where I do know
Infinity to dwell.

And these mine eyes shall see
All times, how they
Are lost i' th' sea
Of vast eternity:--

Where never moon shall sway
The stars; but she,
And night, shall be
Drown'd in one endless day.

by Robert Herrick.

Fast Anchor'D, Eternal, O Love


FAST-ANCHOR'D, eternal, O love! O woman I love!
O bride! O wife! more resistless than I can tell, the thought of you!
--Then separate, as disembodied, or another born,
Ethereal, the last athletic reality, my consolation;
I ascend--I float in the regions of your love, O man,
O sharer of my roving life.

by Walt Whitman.

Forever—it Composed Of Nows

624

Forever—it composed of Nows—
'Tis not a different time—
Except for Infiniteness—
And Latitude of Home—

From this—experienced Here—
Remove the Dates—to These—
Let Months dissolve in further Months—
And Years—exhale in Years—

Without Debate—or Pause—
Or Celebrated Days—
No different Our Years would be
From Anno Domini's—

by Emily Dickinson.

La Maison D’or

(BAR HARBOR)

FROM this fair home behold on either side
The restful mountains or the restless sea
So the warm sheltering walls of life divide
Time and its tides from still eternity.

Look on the waves: their stormy voices teach
That not on earth may toil and struggle cease.
Look on the mountains: better far than speech
Their silent promise of eternal peace.

by Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Presence Of Eternity

The stone grows old.
Eternity is not for stones.
But I shall go down from this airy space, this swift white
peace, this stinging exultation;
And time will come close about me, and my soul stir to the
rhythm of the daily round.
Yet, having known, life will not press so close,
And always I shall feel time ravel thin about me.
For once I stood
In the white windy presence of eternity.

by Eunice Tietjens.

So here hath been dawning
Another blue Day:
Think wilt thou let it
Slip useless away.

Out of Eternity
This new Day is born;
Into Eternity,
At night, will return.

Behold it aforetime
No eye ever did:
So soon it forever
From all eyes is hid.

Here hath been dawning
Another blue Day:
Think wilt thou let it
Slip useless away.

by Thomas Carlyle.

The Eternal Search

MY little maiden two years old, just able
To tower full half a head above the table,
With inquisition keen must needs explore
Whatever in my dwelling hath a door,
Whatever is behind a curtain hid,
Or lurks, a rich enigma, 'neath a lid.
So soon is the supreme desire confessed,
To probe the unknown! So soon begins the quest,
That never ends until asunder fall
The locks and bolts of the Last Door of All.

by William Watson.

From Those Eternal Regions

From those eternal regions bright,
Where suns, that never set in night,
Diffuse the golden day;
Where Spring, unfading, pours around,
O'er all the dew-impearled ground,
Her thousand colours gay;
O whether on the fountain's flowery side,
Whence living waters glide,
Or in the fragrant grove,
Whose shade embosoms peace and love,
New pleasures all our hours employ,
And ravish every sense with every joy!
Great heirs of empire! yet unborn,
Who shall this island late adorn;
A monarch's drooping thought to cheer,
Appear! appear! appear!

by James Thomson.

Song: Eternity Of Love Protested

How ill doth he deserve a lover's name,
Whose pale weak flame
Cannot retain
His heat, in spite of absence or disdain;
But doth at once, like paper set on fire,
Burn and expire;
True love can never change his seat,
Nor did her ever love, that could retreat.

That noble flame which my breast keeps alive
Shall still survive
When my soul's fled;
Nor shall my love die when my body's dead,
That shall wait on me to the lower shade,
And never fade;
My very ashes in their urn
Shall, like a hallow'd lamp, forever burn.

by Thomas Carew.

The Tortoise In Eternity

Within my house of patterned horn
I sleep in such a bed
As men may keep before they're born
And after when they're dead.

Sticks and stones may break their bones,
And words may make them bleed;
There is not one of them who owns
An armour to his need.

Tougher than hide or lozenged bark,
Snow-storm and thunder proof,
And quick with sun, and thick with dark,
Is this my darling roof.

Men's troubled dreams of death and birth
Puls mother-o'-pearl to black;
I bear the rainbow bubble Earth
Square on my scornful back.

by Elinor Morton Wylie.

Behind Me Dips Eternity

721

Behind Me—dips Eternity—
Before Me—Immortality—
Myself—the Term between—
Death but the Drift of Eastern Gray,
Dissolving into Dawn away,
Before the West begin—

'Tis Kingdoms—afterward—they say—
In perfect—pauseless Monarchy—
Whose Prince—is Son of None—
Himself—His Dateless Dynasty—
Himself—Himself diversify—
In Duplicate divine—

'Tis Miracle before Me—then—
'Tis Miracle behind—between—
A Crescent in the Sea—
With Midnight to the North of Her—
And Midnight to the South of Her—
And Maelstrom—in the Sky—

by Emily Dickinson.

Forever At His Side To Walk

246

Forever at His side to walk—
The smaller of the two!
Brain of His Brain—
Blood of His Blood—
Two lives—One Being—now—

Forever of His fate to taste—
If grief—the largest part—
If joy—to put my piece away
For that beloved Heart—

All life—to know each other—
Whom we can never learn—
And bye and bye—a Change—
Called Heaven—
Rapt Neighborhoods of Men—
Just finding out—what puzzled us—
Without the lexicon!

by Emily Dickinson.

Farewell Love And All Thy Laws Forever

Farewell love and all thy laws forever;
Thy baited hooks shall tangle me no more.
Senec and Plato call me from thy lore
To perfect wealth, my wit for to endeavour.
In blind error when I did persever,
Thy sharp repulse, that pricketh aye so sore,
Hath taught me to set in trifles no store
And scape forth, since liberty is lever.
Therefore farewell; go trouble younger hearts
And in me claim no more authority.
With idle youth go use thy property
And thereon spend thy many brittle darts,
For hitherto though I have lost all my time,
Me lusteth no lenger rotten boughs to climb.

by Sir Thomas Wyatt.

On First Entering Westminster Abbey

Thabor of England! since my light is short
And faint, O rather by the sun anew
Of timeless passion set my dial true,
That with thy saints and thee I may consort,
And wafted in the calm Chaucerian port
Of poets, seem a little sail long due,
And be as one the call of memory drew
Unto the saddle void since Agincourt!

Not now for secular love's unquiet lease
Receive my soul, who rapt in thee erewhile
Hath broken tryst with transitory things;
But seal with her a marriage and a peace
Eternal, on thine Edward's holy isle,
Above the stormy sea of ending kings.

by Louise Imogen Guiney.

Earth's Eternity

Man, Earth's poor shadow! talks of Earth's decay:
But hath it nothing of eternal kin?
No majesty that shall not pass away?
No soul of greatness springing up within?
Thought marks without hoar shadows of sublime,
Pictures of power, which if not doomed to win
Eternity, stand laughing at old Time
For ages: in the grand ancestral line
Of things eternal, mounting to divine,
I read Magnificence where ages pay
Worship like conquered foes to the Apennine,
Because they could not conquer. There sits Day
Too high for Night to come at--mountains shine,
Outpeering Time, too lofty for decay.

by John Clare.

Another Day Of Rest, And I Sit Here

Another day of rest, and I sit here
Among the trees, green mounds, and leaves as sere
As my own blasted hopes. There was a time
When Love and perfect Happiness did chime
Like two sweet sounds upon this blessed day;
But one has flown forever, far away
From this poor Earth's unsatisfied desires
To love eternal, and the sacred fires
With which the other lighted up my mind
Have faded out and left no trace behind,
But dust and bitter ashes. Like a bark
Becalmed, I anchor through the midnight dark,
Still hoping for another dawn of Love.
Bring back my olive branch of Happiness, O dove!

by Charles Sangster.

Another day of rest, and I sit here
Among the trees, green mounds, and leaves as sere
As my own blasted hopes. There was a time
When Love and perfect Happiness did chime
Like two sweet sounds upon this blessed day;
But one has flown forever, far away
From this poor Earth's unsatisfied desires
To love eternal, and the sacred fires
With which the other lighted up my mind
Have faded out and left no trace behind,
But dust and bitter ashes. Like a bark
Becalmed, I anchor through the midnight dark,
Still hoping for another dawn of Love.
Bring back my olive branch of Happiness, O dove!

by Charles Sangster.

The Unattainable

I yearn for the Unattainable;
For a glimpse of a brighter day,
When hatred and strife,
With their legions rife,
Shall forever have passed away;
When pain shall cease,
And the dawn of peace
Come down from heaven above,
And man can meet his fellow-man
In the spirit of Christian Love.

I yearn for the Unattainable;
For a Voice that may long be still,
To compel the mind,
As heaven designed,
To work the Eternal Will;
When the brute that sleeps
In the heart's still deeps
Will be changed to Pity's dove,
And man can meet his fellow-man
In the spirit of Perfect Love.

by Charles Sangster.

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part Ii: To Juliet: Xxxix

FAREWELL TO JULIET
Juliet, farewell. I would not be forgiven
Even if I forgave. These words must be
The last between us two in Earth or Heaven,
The last and bitterest. You are henceforth free
For ever from my bitter words and me.
You shall not at my hand be further vexed
With either love, reproach or jealousy
(So help me Heaven), in this world or the next.
Our souls are single for all time to come
And for eternity, and this farewell
Is as the trumpet note, the crack of doom,
Which heralds an eternal silence. Hell
Has no more fixed and absolute decree.
And Heaven and Hell may meet,--yet never we.

by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt.

Oh bard! what though upon thy mortal eyes
There fell no glimmering ray of earthly light,
And the deep shadow of eternal night
Shut from thy gaze our lovely earth and skies,
Yet was it to thy spirit's vision given
To gaze upon the splendors of that shore
Eye had not seen, nor heart conceived before.
Then didst thou, Poet Laureate of heaven,
Sing of those courts and of that angel host,
Of that majestic Spirit who in vain
Dared, warred, and fell, never to rise again,
And of that Paradise so early lost,
In strains 'posterity shall not let die,'
In 'thoughts that wander through eternity.'

by Anne Charlotte Lynch Botta.

What know we of the dead, who say these things,
Or of the life in death below the mould--
What of the mystic laws that rule the old
Grey realms beyond our poor imaginings
Where death is life? The bird with spray-wet wings
Knows more of what the deeps beneath him hold.
Let be! Warm hearts shall never wax a-cold,
But burn in roses through eternal springs;
For all the vanished fruit and flower of Time
Are flower and fruit in worlds we cannot see,
And all we see is as a shadow-mime
Of things unseen, and Time that comes to flee
Is but the broken echo of a rhyme
In God's great epic of Eternity.

by Victor James Daley.

'Tis well with words, oh masters, ye have sought,
To turn men's eyes yearning to the great and true,
Yet first take heed to what your own hands do;
By deeds not words the souls of men are taught;
Good lives alone are fruitful; they are caught
Into the fountain of all life (wherethrough
Men's souls that drink are broken or made new)
Like drops of heavenly elixir, fraught
With the clear essence of eternal youth.
Even one little deed of weak untruth
Is like a drop of quenchless venom cast,
A liquid thread, into life's feeding stream,
Woven forever with its crystal gleam,
Bearing the seed of death and woe at last.

by Archibald Lampman.

When the impatient spirit leaves behind
The clogging hours and makes no dear delay
To drop this Nessus-shirt of night and day,
To cast the flesh that bound and could not bind
The heart untamable, the tireless mind,
In equal dissolution shall the clay
That once was seer or singer flee away--
It shall be fire and blown upon the wind.
Not us befits such change in radiance dressed,
Not us, O Earth, for whom thou biddest cease
Our grey endurance of the dark and cold.
These eyes have watched with grief, and now would rest;
Rest we desire, and on thy bosom's peace
The long slow change to unremembering mould.

by Enid Derham.

Your dear desired grace,
Your hands, your lips of red,
The wonder of your perfect face
Will fade, like sweet rose-petals shed,
When you are dead.

Your beautiful hair
Dust in the dust will lie -
But not the light I worship there,
The gold the sunshine crowns you by -
This will not die.

Your beautiful eyes
Will be closed up with clay;
But all the magic they comprise,
The hopes, the dreams, the ecstasies
Pass not away.

All I desire and see
Will be a carrion thing;
But all that you have been to me
Is, and can never cease to be.
O Grave! where is thy victory?
Where, Death, thy sting?

by Edith Nesbit.

The Voice Of The Rain

And who art thou? said I to the soft-falling shower,
Which, strange to tell, gave me an answer, as here translated:
I am the Poem of Earth, said the voice of the rain,
Eternal I rise impalpable out of the land and the bottomless sea,
Upward to heaven, whence, vaguely form'd, altogether changed, and
yet the same,
I descend to lave the drouths, atomies, dust-layers of the globe,
And all that in them without me were seeds only, latent, unborn;
And forever, by day and night, I give back life to my own origin,
and make pure and beautify it;
(For song, issuing from its birth-place, after fulfilment, wandering,
Reck'd or unreck'd, duly with love returns.)

by Walt Whitman.

A Song Of Eternity In Time

Once, at night, in the manor wood
My Love and I long silent stood,
Amazed that any heavens could
Decree to part us, bitterly repining.
My Love, in aimless love and grief,
Reached forth and drew aside a leaf
That just above us played the thief
And stole our starlight that for us was shining.

A star that had remarked her pain
Shone straightway down that leafy lane,
And wrought his image, mirror-plain,
Within a tear that on her lash hung gleaming.
"Thus Time," I cried, "is but a tear
Some one hath wept 'twixt hope and fear,
Yet in his little lucent sphere
Our star of stars, Eternity, is beaming."

by Sidney Lanier.

The White Island:Or Place Of The Blest

In this world, the Isle of Dreams,
While we sit by sorrow's streams,
Tears and terrors are our themes,
Reciting:

But when once from hence we fly,
More and more approaching nigh
Unto young eternity,
Uniting

In that whiter Island, where
Things are evermore sincere:
Candour here, and lustre there,
Delighting:--

There no monstrous fancies shall
Out of hell an horror call,
To create, or cause at all
Affrighting.

There, in calm and cooling sleep,
We our eyes shall never steep,
But eternal watch shall keep,
Attending

Pleasures such as shall pursue
Me immortalized, and you;
And fresh joys, as never too
Have ending.

by Robert Herrick.

WAVING slowly before me, pushed into the dark,
Unseen my hands explore the silence, drawing the bark
Of my body slowly behind.

Nothing to meet my fingers but the fleece of night
Invisible blinding my face and my eyes! What if in their flight
My hands should touch the door!

What if I suddenly stumble, and push the door
Open, and a great grey dawn swirls over my feet, before
I can draw back!

What if unwitting I set the door of eternity wide
And am swept away in the horrible dawn, am gone down the tide
Of eternal hereafter!

Catch my hands, my darling, between your breasts.
Take them away from their venture, before fate wrests
The meaning out of them.

by David Herbert Lawrence.

The Soul Of April

OVER the wintry threshold
Who comes with joy to-day,
So frail, yet so enduring,
To triumph o'er dismay?
Ah, quick her tears are springing,
And quickly they are dried,
For sorrow walks before her,
But gladness walks beside.
She comes with gusts of laughter,—
The music as of rills;
With tenderness-and sweetness, —
The wisdom of the hills.
Her hands are strong to comfort,
Her heart is quick to heed.
She knows the signs of sadness,
She knows the voice of need.
There is no living creature,
However poor or small,
But she will know its trouble,
And hasten to its call.
Oh, well they fare forever,
By mighty dreams possessed,
Whose hearts have lain a moment
On that eternal breast.

by Bliss William Carman.

They Shall Be Satisfied

Once, in a dream, I saw the Saviour’s face!
That Face within its aureole of Light,
Star, moon and sun, forever, to all night-
And in its glance such tenderness and grace,
That straightway all my travail fled from me:
Bruised, broken, prostrate, hopeless, unfaithed, all
Life’s burden, that had weighed me to my fall;
For I had walked my soul’s Gethsemane
Defeated, where He soared to victory.
I saw His Face! Throughout the rise and set
Of the eternal suns can I forget?
No question further where was all reply,
Nor ever further need to satisfy-
And ah, what blessing, where had been what curse!
He filled my soul, as He the universe-
He was the Understanding, infinite,
And O, the Peace, dear Christ, the Peace of it!

by Ina D. Coolbrith.

Over The Wintry Threshold

Over the wintry threshold
Who comes with joy today,
So frail, yet so enduring,
To triumph o'er dismay?

Ah, quick her tears are springing,
And quickly they are dried,
For sorrow walks before her,
But gladness walks beside.

She comes with gusts of laughter, -
The music as it rills;
With tenderness and sweetness,
The wisdom of the hills.

Her hands are strong to comfort,
Her heart is quick to heed;
She knows the signs of sadness,
She knows the voice of need;

There is no living creature,
However poor or small,
But she will know its trouble,
And hearken to its call.

Oh, well they fare forever,
By mighty dreams possessed,
Whose hearts have lain a moment
On that eternal breast.

by Bliss William Carman.

While with ceaseless course the sun
Hasted through the former year,
Many souls their race have run,
Never more to meet us here;
Fixed in an eternal fate,
They have done with all below.
We a little longer wait,
But how little -- none can know.

As the winged arrow flies
Speedily the mark to find;
As the lightning from the skies
Darts, and leaves no trace behind,
Swiftly thus our fleeting days
Bear us down life's rapid stream.
Upward, Lord, our spirits raise;
All below is but a dream.

Thanks for mercies past receive,
Pardon of our sins renew;
Teach us, henceforth how to live
With eternity in view.
Bless Thy Word to young and old,
Fill us with a Saviour's love;
And when life's short tale is told,
May we dwell with Thee above.

by John Newton.

Bring, In This Timeless Grave To Throw

Bring, in this timeless grave to throw,
No cypress, sombre on the snow;
Snap not from the bitter yew
His leaves that live December through;
Break no rosemary, bright with rime
And sparkling to the cruel clime;
Nor plod the winter land to look
For willows in the icy brook
To cast them leafless round him: bring
No spray that ever buds in spring.

But if the Christmas field has kept
Awns the last gleaner overstept,
Or shrivelled flax, whose flower is blue
A single season, never two;
Or if one haulm whose year is o'er
Shivers on the upland frore,
--Oh, bring from hill and stream and plain
Whatever will not flower again,
To give him comfort: he and those
Shall bide eternal bedfellows
Where low upon the couch he lies
Whence he never shall arise.

by Alfred Edward Housman.

Hatred And Vengeance, My Eternal Portion

Hatred and vengeance, my eternal portion,
Scarce can endure delay of execution,
Wait, with impatient readiness, to seize my
Soul in a moment.

Damned below Judas:more abhorred than he was,
Who for a few pence sold his holy Master.
Twice betrayed Jesus me, this last delinquent,
Deems the profanest.

Man disavows, and Deity disowns me:
Hell might afford my miseries a shelter;
Therefore hell keeps her ever hungry mouths all
Bolted against me.

Hard lot! encompassed with a thousand dangers;
Weary, faint, trembling with a thousand terrors;
I'm called, if vanquished, to receive a sentence
Worse than Abiram's.

Him the vindictive rod of angry justice
Sent quick and howling to the center headlong;
I, fed with judgment, in a fleshly tomb, am
Buried above ground.

by William Cowper.

'All the rivers run into the sea.'
Like the pulsing of a river,
The motion of a song,
Wind the olden words along
The tortuous turnings of my thoughts whenever
I sit beside the sea.


'All the rivers run into the sea.'
O you little leaping river,
Laugh on beneath your breath!
With a heart as deep as death,
Strong stream, go patient, grave, and hasting never,-
I sit beside the sea.


'All the rivers run into the sea.'
Why the passion of a river?
The striving of a soul?
Calm the eternal waters roll
Upon the eternal shore. At last, whatever
Seeks it-finds the sea.


'All the rivers run into the sea.'
O thou bounding, burning river,
Hurrying heart! I seem
To know (so one knows in a dream)
That in the waiting heart of God forever,
Thou too shalt find the sea.

by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward.

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