The Lords of Pain

By George Sterling

The Lords of Pain are mightier by night:
 Swiftly, as darkness closed the dreary day,
 They marshalled whose inimical array
I saw not, conscious only of their might,
As, thro' the hours' intolerable flight
 And swoon recurrent of the spirit, they
 Wrought grievously their will upon the clay,
Till respite of the dawn's delaying light.

Not thus, O Life! would I depart from thee —
 Relinquishing at Agony's command
The lights and shadows of thine empery;
   But so put by the guerdon of the breath
 As one grown weary in a twilight land,
   Whom Music leads to Sleep, and Sleep to Death.

Bibliography Entry