My own dim life should teach me this,
      That life shall live for evermore,
      Else earth is darkness at the core,
And dust and ashes all that is;

This round of green, this orb of flame,
      Fantastic beauty; such as lurks
      In some wild Poet, when he works
Without a conscience or an aim.

What then were God to such as I?
      'Twere hardly worth my while to choose
      Of things all mortal, or to use
A tattle patience ere I die;

'Twere best at once to sink to peace,
      Like birds the charming serpent draws,
      To drop head-foremost in the jaws
Of vacant darkness and to cease.

Last modified 12 February 2010