Two Days

A poem by William Ernest Henley

(February 15 - September 28, 1894)

To V. G.

That day we brought our Beautiful One to lie
In the green peace within your gates, he came
To give us greeting, boyish and kind and shy,
And, stricken as we were, we blessed his name:
Yet, like the Creature of Light that had been ours,
Soon of the sweet Earth disinherited,
He too must join, even with the Year's old flowers,
The unanswering generations of the Dead.
So stand we friends for you, who stood our friend
Through him that day; for now through him you know
That though where love was, love is till the end,
Love, turned of death to longing, like a foe,
Strikes: when the ruined heart goes forth to crave
Mercy of the high, austere, unpitying Grave.

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