Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
IV. Inevitable
All things will die
By Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)
CLEARLY the blue river chimes in its flowing
            Under my eye;
Warmly and broadly the south winds are blowing
            Over the sky.
One after another the white clouds are fleeting;        5
Every heart this May morning in joyance is beating
            Full merrily;
        Yet all things must die.
      The stream will cease to flow;
      The wind will cease to blow;        10
      The clouds will cease to fleet;
      The heart will cease to beat;
        For all things must die.
            All things must die.
      Spring will come never more.        15
            Oh! vanity!
      Death waits at the door.
      See! our friends are all forsaking
      The wine and the merrymaking.
      We are called—we must go.        20
      Laid low, very low,
      In the dark we must lie.
      The merry glees are still;
      The voice of the bird
      Shall no more be heard,        25
      Nor the wind on the hill.
            Oh! misery!
      Hark! death is calling
      While I speak to ye,
      The jaw is falling,        30
      The red cheek paling,
      The strong limbs failing;
      Ice with the warm blood mixing;
      The eyeballs fixing.
      Nine times goes the passing bell:        35
      Ye merry souls, farewell.
            The old earth
            Had a birth,
            As all men know,
            Long ago.        40
      And the old earth must die.
      So let the warm winds range,
      And the blue wave beat the shore;
            For even and morn
            Ye will never see        45
            Through eternity.
            All things were born.
            Ye will come never more,
            For all things must die.

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