Afterward (BtB)

By George Sterling

Tho Fate, for quiet prayer, might grant me all,
    Little I ask beside the lasting grace
And benediction of thy dear embrace —
That hour of dream which holds my heart in thrall.
Tho many voices of enchantment call,
    One mercy would I beg from Time and Space—
    The final contemplation of thy face
Till Lethe sunder and the darkness fall.

And ah! may then thy face, a changeless light,
Companion me thro' aeons of the night! —
            Filling that realm with marvel and desire
        And making death not altogether sleep,
        But rather as a gloom whose altars keep
    A timeless vision and a ghostly fire.

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