Stephen Vincent Benet


Nos Immortales


Perhaps we go with wind and cloud and sun, 
Into the free companionship of air; 
Perhaps with sunsets when the day is done, 
Allís one to me -- I do not greatly care; 
So long as there are brown hills -- and a tree 
Like a mad prophet in a land of dearth -- 
And I can lie and hear eternally 
The vast monotonous breathing of the earth. 

I have known hours, slow and golden-glowing, 
Lovely with laughter and suffused with light, 
O Lord, in such a time appoint my going, 
When the hands clench, and the cold face grows white, 
And the spark dies within the feeble brain, 
Spilling its star-dust back to dust again.






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