William Morris -- October

O love, turn from the changing sea and gaze,
Down these grey slopes, upon the year grown old,
A-dying 'mid the autumn-scented haze
That hangeth o'er the hollow in the wold,
Where the wind-bitten ancient elms infold
Grey church, long barn, orchard, and red-roofed stead,
Wrought in dead days for men a long while dead.

Come down, O love; may not our hands still meet,
Since still we live today, forgetting June,
Forgetting May, deeming October sweet? -
Oh, hearken! hearken! through the afternoon
The grey tower sings a strange old tinkling tune!
Sweet, sweet, and sad, the toiling year's last breath,
To satiate of life, to strive with death.

And we too - will it not be soft and kind,
That rest from life, from patience, and from pain,
That rest from bliss we know not when we find,
That rest from love which ne'er the end can gain?
- Hark! how the tune swells, that erewhile did wane!
Look up, love! - Ah! cling close, and never move!
How can I have enough of life and love?


Poem: William Morris (1834-1896)
published: ??? (18??)

With thanks to Barbara Sarkody for sending me the text.
Thanks also to Christian Wallenborg who pointed me at a web page that has this poem, on the Passions in Poetry site.

   ===> For info on the author, see The William Morris Home Page

Four lines from the last stanza of this poem are spoken in the song No one like you, sung by Sarah Brightman on her album Timeless (aka Time to say goodbye).

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created: 31 July 2000
last modified: 3 February 2008