IT WAS NOT DEATH, FOR I STOOD UP - Walter Alexander Raleigh Poems

 
 

Poems » walter alexander raleigh » it was not death for i stood up

IT WAS NOT DEATH, FOR I STOOD UP
It was not death, for I stood up,
And all the dead lie down;
It was not night, for all the bells
Put out their tongues, for noon.

It was not frost, for on my flesh
I felt siroccos crawl, -
Nor fire, for just my marble feet
Could keep a chancel cool.

And yet it tasted like them all;
The figures I have seen
Set orderly, for burial,
Reminded me of mine,

As if my life were shaven
And fitted to a frame,
And could not breathe without a key;
And 'twas like midnight, some,

When everything that ticked has stopped,
And space stares, all around,
Or grisly frosts, first autumn morns
Repeal the beating ground.

But most like chaos - stopless, cool, -
Without a chance or spar,
Or even a report of land
To justify despair.

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