Contrasted Songs: Song Of The Going Away

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“Old man, upon the green hillside,
  With yellow flowers besprinkled o’er,
How long in silence wilt thou bide
  At this low stone door?

“I stoop:  within ’tis dark and still;
  But shadowy paths methinks there be,
And lead they far into the hill?”
  “Traveller, come and see.”

“’Tis dark, ’tis cold, and hung with gloom;
  I care not now within to stay;
For thee and me is scarcely room,
  I will hence away.”

“Not so, not so, thou youthful guest,
  Thy foot shall issue forth no more:
Behold the chamber of thy rest,
  And the closing door!”

“O, have I ’scaped the whistling ball,
  And striven on smoky fields of fight,
And scaled the ’leaguered city’s wall
  In the dangerous night;

“And borne my life unharméd still
  Through foaming gulfs of yeasty spray,
To yield it on a grassy hill
  At the noon of day?”

“Peace!  Say thy prayers, and go to sleep,
  Till some time, ONE my seal shall break,
And deep shall answer unto deep,
  When He crieth, ‘AWAKE!’”

© Jean Ingelow