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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

Poems                        395

Hand in han<i we watch the train as it glides

Out, out, out into the night.

So take him into thy holy keeping, 0 Lord,

And guide him and guard him ever, and fare him well 1

xi
An Academic Exercise

We were two lovers standing sadly by

While our two loves lay dead upon the ground ;

Each love had striven not to be first to die,

But each was gashed with many a cruel wound.

Said I: " Your love was false while mine was true."

Aflood with tears he cried : "It was not so,

Twas your false love my true love falsely slew—

For 'twas your love that was the first to go."

Thus did we stand and said no more for shame

Till I, seeing his cheek so wan and wet,

Sobbed thus : " So be it; my love shall bear the blame ;

Let us inter them honourably."   And yet

I swear by all truth human and divine

'Twas his that in its death throes murdered mine.

xn
A Prayer

Searcher of souls, you who in heaven abide,
To whom the secrets of all hearts are open,
Though I do lie to all the world beside,
From me to these no falsehood shall be spoken.
Cleanse me not, Lord, I say, from secret sin
But from those faults which he who runs can see,
Tis these that torture me, 0 Lord, begin
With these and let the hidden vices be ;
If you must cleanse these too, at any rate
Deal with the seen sins first, 'tis only reason,
They being so gross, to let the others wait
The leisure of some more convenient season ;

And cleanse not all even then, leave me a few,
I would not be—not quite—so pure as you.