The Cloud Confines

The day is dark and the night
  To him that would search their heart;
  No lips of cloud that will part
  Nor morning song in the light:
  Only, gazing alone,
  To him wild shadows are shown,
  Deep under deep unknown
  And height above unknown height.
  Still we say as we go,--
  "Strange to think by the way,
  Whatever there is to know,
  That shall we know one day."

  The Past is over and fled;
  Nam'd new, we name it the old;
  Thereof some tale hath been told,
  But no word comes from the dead;
  Whether at all they be,
  Or whether as bond or free,
  Or whether they too were we,
  Or by what spell they have sped.
  Still we say as we go,--
  "Strange to think by the way,
  Whatever there is to know,
  That shall we know one day."

  What of the heart of hate
  That beats in thy breast, O Time?--
  Red strife from the furthest prime,
  And anguish of fierce debate;
  War that shatters her slain,
  And peace that grinds them as grain,
  And eyes fix'd ever in vain
  On the pitiless eyes of Fate.
  Still we say as we go,--
  "Strange to think by the way,
  Whatever there is to know,
  That shall we know one day."

  What of the heart of love
  That bleeds in thy breast, O Man?--
  Thy kisses snatch'd 'neath the ban
  Of fangs that mock them above;
  Thy bells prolong'd unto knells,
  Thy hope that a breath dispels,
  Thy bitter forlorn farewells
  And the empty echoes thereof?
  Still we say as we go,--
  "Strange to think by the way,
  Whatever there is to know,
  That shall we know one day."

  The sky leans dumb on the sea,
  Aweary with all its wings;
  And oh! the song the sea sings
  Is dark everlastingly.
  Our past is clean forgot,
  Our present is and is not,
  Our future's a seal'd seedplot,
  And what betwixt them are we?--
  We who say as we go,--
  "Strange to think by the way,
  Whatever there is to know,
  That shall we know one day."

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Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Dante Gabriel Rossetti was an English poet, illustrator, painter and translator. more…

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"The Cloud Confines" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 25 May 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/7727/the-cloud-confines>.

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