Life flows down to death; we cannot bind
That current that it should not flee:
Life flows down to death, as rivers find
The inevitable sea.
Men work and think, but women feel;
And so (for I’m a woman, I)
And so I should be glad to die
And cease from impotence of zeal,
And cease from hope, and cease from dread,
And cease from yearnings without gain,
And cease from all this world of pain,
And be at peace among the dead.
Hearts that die, by death renew their youth,
Lightened of this life that doubts and dies;
Silent and contented, while the Truth
Unveiled makes them wise.
Why should I seek and never find
That something which I have not had?
Fair and unutterably sad
The world hath sought time out of mind;
The world hath sought and I have sought,–
Ah, empty world and empty I!
For we have spent our strength for nought,
And soon it will be time to die.
Sparks fly upward toward their fount of fire,
Kindling, flashing, hovering:–
Kindle, flash, my soul; mount higher and higher,
Thou whole burnt-offering!