I have none other thought of peace, but only Thee.
One time, the world contained great store of friends, Mother and Brethren, Teachers, Holy Guides, All tender to my foolishness; all dear to me; But this last woe they would not understand. I once had hopes of heaven, whereon I slept and smiled, But a cold hand awoke me from that dream. Only thy youth, fair child, thy beauty, joy, and youth, Can give me all I want, heart-ease and rest. Though thou art ignorant of what dark books may hold, Or darker pages of real human life Yet thou art not too young, too holy-innocent, To pity one in pain for human sin. O Girl, a sole tear, shining on thy cheek for me More strengthens me than glittering angel-ranks; Whose glory no eye sees; whose power is never felt, Whose sinlessness supports no sinful head, Whose wondrous music never cased a human ear.
Ah, well-a-day; seeing my Heaven's empty now, I would the world were void of all but thee. Oh, now, unless my face hath set too granite-hard And hurt thy tender hands to stroke it o'er, Unless the fires that ever rage behind my eyes, Hot-sear thy lips in pressing kisses there,
I crave thee, place thy two soft hands upon my cheeks, So shall long-treasured tears be loosed at last. Open thy infinite-vast eyes on me --- So shall my life melt out into their depth. And I shall die away content, without regret; Content to lose my sense of all for aye, Simply to live within the memory of thy mind; And when thy memory fail, to surcease, too. Who would not part with life if he could surely know It might lie casketed in such a head?
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|Author||Owen, Wilfred (1893-1918)|
|Copyright||The Estate of Wilfred Owen. The Complete Poems and Fragments of Wilfred Owen edited by Jon Stallworthy first published by Chatto Windus, 1983. Preliminaries, introductory, editorial matter, manuscripts and fragments omitted.|
|First line||I have none other thought of peace, but only Thee.|
|Publication source||The Complete Poems and Fragments of Wilfred Owen|
|Publication editor||Stallworthy, Jon|
|Digital repository||The First World War Poetry Digital Archive|