Every great man is a puzzle, solved only by posterity.
The First Night
Now night comes, the first night in the grave.
O where is all the brightness that surrounded you?
Your bed is made in the cold earth.
How will you sleep tonight?
Your pillow is damp from the last rain;
nightbirds scream, scared away by the wind;
no little lamps burn for you now; only the moonlight,
cold and pale, plays on the place where you sleep.
The hours creep by-- will you sleep till daylight?
Do you, like me, hear every toll of the bell?
How can I lie peacefully and sleep for a little while
when you, my love, are in such a bad bed?
You came, you went with a light trace,
a fleeting guest in this land of earth;
Where from? Whither? We only know:
from God's hand to God's hand.
A city is standing in the waves
That rose from deepest lair,
There each of the houses the water laves
And kisses each marble stair;
There palaces stand in their glory's pride
And gilded is pillar and wall,
But over the battlements far and wide
Destruction is brooding for all.
No sound of wheel or of hoof is known
The lion to wake from his dream,
But low from the Lido the night-winds moan
And sea-gulls ocean-wards scream.
The moon makes silver the silent tide,
The gondolas glide their way,
And sea-weeds on the water ride--
Like storm-tossed corpses stray.
Oh pearl, thou of all in the deep most fair,
Thou beauty out of the sea,
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