Et in Arcadia ego ... Sonnet

A poem by Thomas Runciman

"What traveller soever wander here
In quest of peace and what is best of pleasure,
Let not his hope be overcast and drear
Because I, Death, am here to fix the measure
Of life, even in blameless Arcady.
Bay, laurel, myrtle, ivy never sere,
And fields flower-decorated all the year,
And streams that carry secrets to the sea,
And hills that hold back something evermore
Though wild their speech with clouds in thunder-roar, -
Yea, every sylvan sight and peaceful tone
Are thine to give thy days their purer zest.
Let not the legend grieve thee on this stone.
I Death am here. What then? My name is Rest."

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