When Old Wounds Bleed Again

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When old wounds bleed again
In the silence of the night,
And mixt with sweet delight
Wells up the stream of pain,
Is it less hard to endure
That when the sword struck first
So keen, with edge so sure?
Was that wild hour the worst?

O then a too strong smart
O'erwhelmed the senses' power.
Now in some tranquil hour
When, fortified, the heart
Is capable at ease
Of sorrow, now returns
By exquisite degrees
Pain, and in silence burns.

Is this still woe forlorn
Less than that fierce despair?
Perhaps 'tis worse to bear
Because 'tis easier borne.

© Robert Laurence Binyon