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Walter de la Mare


Even the beauty of the rose doth cast,

When its bright, fervid noon is past,

A still and lengthening shadow in the dust,

Till darkness come

And take its strange dream home.

The transient bubbles of the water paint

'Neath their frail arch a shadow faint;

The golden nimbus of the windowed saint,

Till shine the stars,

Casts pale and trembling bars.

The loveliest thing earth hath, a shadow hath,

A dark and livelong hint of death,

Haunting it ever till its last faint breath.

Who, then, may tell

The beauty of heaven's shadowless asphodel?