Calm and very wonderful, white above the green

Of the wet and waving forest, slanted all away,

Because the driving Northern wind will not rest by night or day.

Yet the towers are sure above, very mighty is the stead,

The gates are made of ivory, the roofs of copper red.

Round and round the warders grave walk upon the walls for ever

And the wakeful dragons couch in the ports of ivory,

Nothing is can trouble it, hate of the gods nor man's endeavour,

And it shall be a resting-place, dear heart, for you and me.

Through the wet and waving forest with an age-old sorrow laden

Singing of the world's regret wanders wild the faerie maiden,

Through the thistle and the brier, through the tangles of the thorn,

Till her eyes be dim with weeping and her homeless feet are torn.

Often to the castle gate up she looks with vain endeavour,

For her soulless loveliness to the castle winneth never.

But within the sacred court, hidden high upon the mountain,

Wandering in the castle gardens lovely folk enough there be,

Breathing in another air, drinking of a purer fountain

And among that folk, beloved, there's a place for you and me.

XL. Death in Battle

Open the gates for me,

Open the gates of the peaceful castle, rosy in the West,

In the sweet dim Isle of Apples over the wide sea's breast,

Open the gates for me!

Sorely pressed have I been

And driven and hurt beyond bearing this summer day,

But the heat and the pain together suddenly fall away,

All's cool and green.

But a moment agone,

Among men cursing in fight and toiling, blinded I fought,

But the labour passed on a sudden even as a passing thought,

And now-alone!

Ah, to be ever alone,

In flowery valleys among the mountains and silent wastes untrod,

In the dewy upland places, in the garden of God,

This would atone!

I shall not see

The brutal, crowded faces around me, that in their toil have grown

Into the faces of devils-yea, even as my own--

When I find thee,

O Country of Dreams!

Beyond the tide of the ocean, hidden and sunk away,

Out of the sound of battles, near to the end of day,

Full of dim woods and streams.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Spirits in Bondage, by

(AKA Clive Hamilton) C. S. Lewis


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