Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 222 pages of information about Poems by Jean Ingelow, In Two Volumes, Volume I..

But did she love him?—­what and if she did? 
  Love cannot cool the burning Austral sand,
Nor show the secret waters that lie hid
  In arid valleys of that desert land. 
Love has no spells can scorching winds forbid,
  Or bring the help which tarries near to hand,
Or spread a cloud for curtaining faded eyes
That gaze up dying into alien skies.


I took a year out of my life and story—­
  A dead year, and said, “I will hew thee a tomb! 
  ‘All the kings of the nations lie in glory;’
Cased in cedar, and shut in a sacred gloom;
Swathed in linen, and precious unguents old;
Painted with cinnabar, and rich with gold.

  “Silent they rest, in solemn salvatory,
Sealed from the moth and the owl and the flitter-mouse—­
          Each with his name on his brow. 
  ’All the kings of the nations lie in glory,
Every one in his own house:’ 
          Then why not thou?

    “Year,” I said, “thou shalt not lack
    Bribes to bar thy coming back;
    Doth old Egypt wear her best
    In the chambers of her rest? 
    Doth she take to her last bed
    Beaten gold, and glorious red? 
    Envy not! for thou wilt wear
    In the dark a shroud as fair;
    Golden with the sunny ray
    Thou withdrawest from my day;
    Wrought upon with colors fine,
    Stolen from this life of mine;
    Like the dusty Lybian kings,
    Lie with two wide open wings
    On thy breast, as if to say,
    On these wings hope flew away;
    And so housed, and thus adorned,
    Not forgotten, but not scorned,
    Let the dark for evermore
    Close thee when I close the door;
    And the dust for ages fall
    In the creases of thy pall;
    And no voice nor visit rude
    Break thy sealed solitude.”

  I took the year out of my life and story,
The dead year, and said, “I have hewed thee a tomb
  ‘All the kings of the nations lie in glory,’
Cased in cedar, and shut in a sacred gloom;
But for the sword, and the sceptre, and diadem,
Sure thou didst reign like them.” 
So I laid her with those tyrants old and hoary,
        According to my vow;
For I said, “The kings of the nations lie in glory,
        And so shalt thou!”

    “Rock,” I said, “thy ribs are strong. 
    That I bring thee guard it long;
    Hide the light from buried eyes—­
    Hide it, lest the dead arise.” 
    “Year,” I said, and turned away,
    “I am free of thee this day;
    All that we two only know,
    I forgive and I forego,
    So thy face no more I meet,
    In the field or in the street.”

    Thus we parted, she and I;
    Life hid death, and put it by: 
    Life hid death, and said, “Be free
    I have no more need of thee.” 
    No more need!  O mad mistake,
    With repentance in its wake! 
    Ignorant, and rash, and blind,
    Life had left the grave behind;
    But had locked within its hold
    With the spices and the gold,
    All she had to keep her warm
    In the raging of the storm.

Follow Us on Facebook