Be still, she sleeps. Yea, there is stillness here:
No voices come to rouse the dreamless dead,
No new grief gathers with the gathering year,
No woman's heart bleeds now where once it bled,
But from the vast of heaven dim peace is shed,
And silence like an angel o'er her weeps.
Be still, she sleeps.
Be still, dear heart, be still: sorrow and pain,
Longing and love, shall touch thee nevermore,
And nevermore desire and never again
Despair shall mock thee as they mocked of yore.
Lo! naught is now as it was heretofore;
But over thee eternal twilight cast
Brings rest at last:
Rest from thy wanderings, deep-bosomed rest;
For rest and home how often didst thou pine
In days of exile! The great mother's best
Gift to her weary children, rest divine
From all the passion and pain that once were thine;
Rest after toil, peace after storm and strife,
Death after life.
Yea, thou hast peace. But life and strife are ours,
Ours the unrest, the conflict, and the roar
Of battle, the procession of swift hours,
And the loud tumult of insistent war
Thundering on earth's inhospitable shore.
The peace to thee: to us the storm, the strife,
The splendour of life.
Her everlasting course the unwearied world
Fulfils, heedless of human weal or woe,
And out of space primeval stars are hurled
'Mid crashing constellations and the glow
Of great wrecked suns; yet always come and go
Life's shadows, and the round of day and night,
Darkness and light.
The world rolls on, and all we loved lies dead;
The world rolls on, and many hearts grow numb;
And some work weeping, but with high hopes fed,
And some assail deaf gods with prayer, and some
Blaspheme, and some smile bitterly and are dumb,
And some to seek for things divine are fain,
And seek in vain.
Life like a shroud on men and women lies;
And, if one weep not, yet needs must he weep
For others, seeing the slow tears from men's eyes
Gather and fall, as mists of evening creep
Reluctantly at twilight down the steep
Hillside, and slowly gather over all
The land, and fall.
Thee no dark shadow of another's tears,
Thee no dim memory of a far-off woe
Touches, nor any murmur of the years
Passing, nor any dreams of long ago:
Thine is the heaven above, the heaven below,
Thine the great calm, the silence, the divine
Before thee spreads the long low-lying plain:
Behind, watch o'er thee keeping, stands thine hill:
And all the fields are fresh with fallen rain,
And all the summer air is soft and still.
Meseems the beating of earth's heart doth fill
The silence as with music heard afar
At Peer Pahar.
Thou dost not hear, thou dost not heed: my words
Pass like still smoke up through the evening air,
And the deep shadows lengthen, and the birds
Hall dusk with song, and all the world seems fair;
Nature is hushed and hearkening everywhere.
Only thou dost not heed nor hear: thou art
At Nature's heart.
Thou hast become a note in Nature's song,
Of that great universal organ-tone
A quivering chord, unheard save in the strong
Shout of the winds and elemental moan
Of restless infinite ocean: thou art grown
One with all primal being, one with light,
One with the night.
The night! who, even as she hath ever brought
Now brings brief slumber unto those that weep;
But thee and thine long since, yea, him who wrought
For thee with passionate desire this deep
Passionless place of dreams, eternal sleep
She gave with gentle hands inscrutably
To thine and thee.
Be still, she sleeps; they sleep, they are made one
Now each with each for ever and with all
They loved aforetime. Sleeping they have grown
Into the heart of Nature, where the call
Of star to star proclaims high festival
In heaven, and no more woe for him that weeps.
Be still: she sleeps.