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Lay Your Sleeping Head, My Love

W.H. Auden

Lay your sleeping head, my love, 
Human on my faithless arm; 
Time and fevers burn away 
Individual beauty from 
Thoughtful children, and the grave 
Proves the child ephermeral: 
But in my arms till break of day 
Let the living creature lie, 
Mortal, guilty, but to me 
The entirely beautiful. 

Soul and body have no bounds: 
To lovers as they lie upon 
Her tolerant enchanted slope 
In their ordinary swoon, 
Grave the vision Venus sends 
Of supernatural sympathy, 
Universal love and hope; 
While an abstract insight wakes 
Among the glaciers and the rocks 
The hermit's sensual ecstasy. 

Certainty, fidelity 
On the stroke of midnight pass 
Like vibrations of a bell, 
And fashionable madmen raise 
Their pedantic boring cry: 
Every farthing of the cost, 
All the dreadful cards foretell, 
Shall be paid, but not from this night 
Not a whisper, not a thought, 
Not a kiss nor look be lost. 

Beauty, midnight, vision dies: 
Let the winds of dawn that blow 
Softly round your dreaming head 
Such a day of sweetness show 
Eye and knocking heart may bless. 
Find the mortal world enough;
Noons of dryness see you fed 
By the involuntary powers, 
Nights of insult let you pass 
Watched by every human love. 

Submitted by Venus

Added: 24 Feb 2003 | Last Read: 24 Mar 2019 9:22 AM | Viewed: 34923 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/7960/ | Viewed on 24 March 2019.
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