The Window Overlooking the Harbour
Sad is the Evening: all the level sand
Lies left and lonely, while the restless sea,
Tired of the green caresses of the land,
Withdraws into its own infinity.
But still more sad this white and chilly Dawn
Filling the vacant spaces of the sky,
While little winds blow here and there forlorn
And all the stars, weary of shining, die.
And more than desolate, to wake, to rise,
Leaving the couch, where softly sleeping still,
What through the past night made my heaven, lies;
And looking out across the window sill
See, from the upper window's vantage ground,
Mankind slip into harness once again,
And wearily resume his daily round
Of love and labour, toil and strife and pain.
How the sad thoughts slip back across the night:
The whole thing seems so aimless and so vain.
What use the raptures, passion and delight,
Burnt out; as though they could not wake again.
The worn-out nerves and weary brain repeat
The question: Whither all these passions tend; -
This curious thirst, so painful and so sweet,
So fierce, so very short-lived, to what end?
Even, if seeking for ourselves, the Race,
The only immortality we know, -
Even if from the flower of our embrace
Some spark should kindle, or some fruit should grow,
What were the use? the gain, to us or it,
That we should cause another You or Me, -
Another life, from our light passion lit,
To suffer like ourselves awhile and die.
What aim, what end indeed? Our being runs
In a closed circle. All we know or see
Tends to assure us that a thousand Suns,
Teeming perchance with life, have ceased to be.
Ah, the grey Dawn seems more than desolate,
And the past night of passion worse than waste,
Love but a useless flower, that soon or late,
Turns to a fruit with bitter aftertaste.
Youth, even Youth, seems futile and forlorn
While the new day grows slowly white above.
Pale and reproachful comes the chilly Dawn
After the fervour of a night of love.
The Window Overlooking the Harbour by Laurence Hope (Adela Florence Cory Nicolson)