‘My life is full of weary days’

Alfred Tennyson

MY LIFE is full of weary days,
    But good things have not kept aloof,
Nor wander’d into other ways:
    I have not lack’d thy mild reproof,
Nor golden largess of thy praise.

And now shake hands across the brink
    Of that deep grave to which I go:
Shake hands once more: I cannot sink
    So far—far down, but I shall know
    Thy voice, and answer from below.

When in the darkness over me
    The four-handed mole shall scrape,
Plant thou no dusky cypress-tree,
    Nor wreathe thy cap with doleful crape,
    But pledge me in the flowing grape.

And when the sappy field and wood
    Grow green beneath the showery gray,
And rugged barks begin to bud,
    And thro’ damp holts new-flush’d with may,
    Ring sudden scritches of the jay,

Then let wise Nature work her will,
    And on my clay her darnel grow;
Come only, when the days are still,
    And at my headstone whisper low,
    And tell me if the woodbines blow.

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