James Lionel Michael

A poem by Henry Kendall

Be his rest the rest he sought:
Calm and deep.
Let no wayward word or thought
Vex his sleep.

Peace the peace that no man knows
Now remains
Where the wasted woodwind blows,
Wakes and wanes.

Latter leaves, in Autumn’s breath,
White and sere,
Sanctify the scholar’s death,
Lying here.

Soft surprises of the sun
Swift, serene
O’er the mute grave-grasses run,
Cold and green.

Wet and cold the hillwinds moan;
Let them rave!
Love that takes a tender tone
Lights his grave.

He who knew the friendless face
Sorrows shew,
Often sought this quiet place
Years ago.

One, too apt to faint and fail,
Loved to stray
Here where water-shallows wail
Day by day.

Care that lays her heavy hand
On the best,
Bound him with an iron hand;
Let him rest.

Life, that flieth like a tune,
Left his eyes,
As an April afternoon
Leaves the skies.

Peace is best! If life was hard
Peace came next.
Thus the scholar, thus the bard,
Lies unvext.

Safely housed at last from rack
Far from pain;
Who would wish to have him back?
Back again?

Let the forms he loved so well
Hover near;
Shine of hill and shade of dell,
Year by year.

All the wilful waifs that make
Beauty’s face,
Let them sojourn for his sake
Round this place.

Flying splendours, singing streams,
Lutes and lights,
May they be as happy dreams:
Sounds and sights;

So that Time to Love may say,
“Wherefore weep?
Sweet is sleep at close of day!
Death is sleep.”

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