Adnax Publications

John Clare

< An Invite to Eternity

Say, wilt though go with me, sweet maid,
Say maiden, wilt thou go with me
Through the valley-depths of shade,
Of night and dark obscurity,
Where the path hath lost its way,
Where the sun forgets the day,
Where there's nor light nor life to see,
Sweet maiden, wilt thou go with me?

Where stones will turn to flooding streams,
Where plains will rise like oceaned waves,
Where life will fade like visioned dreams
And mountains darken into caves,
Say, maiden, wilt though go with me
Through this sad non-identity,
Where parents live and are forgot
And sisters live and know us not?

Say, maiden, wilt thou go with me
In this strange death of life to be,
To live in death and be the same,
Without this life or home or name,
At once to be and not to be,
That was and is not—yet to see
Things pass like shadows, and the sky
Above, below, around us lie?

The land of shadows wilt thou trace
And look—nor know each other's face,
The present mixed with reason gone,
And past and present all as one?
Say, maiden, can thy life be led
To join the living with the dead?
Then trace thy footsteps on with me:
We are wed to one eternity.



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