(William Ernest Henley)

Echoes. 45. From the Brake the Nightingale

          To W. B.

From the brake the Nightingale
   Sings exulting to the Rose;
Though he sees her waxing pale
   In her passionate repose,
While she triumphs waxing frail,
   Fading even while she glows;
         Though he knows
         How it goes
Knows of last years Nightingale
   Dead with last years Rose.

Wise the enamoured Nightingale,
   Wise the well-belovèd Rose!
Love and life shall still prevail,
   Nor the silence at the close
Break the magic of the tale
   In the telling, though it shows
         Who but knows
         How it goes!
Life a last years Nightingale,
   Love a last years Rose.

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