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Lay your sleeping head, my love — W.H. Auden

The finger notes of my next opponent in the 90+30 tournament give the beginning of the following poem from W.H. Auden.

  Lay your sleeping head, my love,
  Human on my faithless arm;
  Time and fevers burn away
  Individual beauty from
  Thoughtful children, and the grave
  Proves the child ephemeral:
  But in my arms till break of day
  Let the living creature lie,
  Mortal, guilty, but to me
  The entirely beautiful.

  Soul and body have no bounds:
  To lovers as they lie upon
  Her tolerant enchanted slope
  In their ordinary swoon,
  Grave the vision Venus sends
  Of supernatural sympathy,
  Universal love and hope;
  While an abstract insight wakes
  Among the glaciers and the rocks
  The hermit's sensual ecstasy.

  Certainty, fidelity
  On the stroke of midnight pass
  Like vibrations of a bell,
  And fashionable madmen raise
  Their pedantic boring cry:
  Every farthing of the cost,
  All the dreaded cards foretell,
  Shall be paid, but from this night
  Not a whisper, not a thought,
  Not a kiss nor look be lost.

  Beauty, midnight, vision dies:
  Let the winds of dawn that blow
  Softly round your dreaming head
  Such a day of sweetness show
  Eye and knocking heart may bless,
  Find the mortal world enough;
  Noons of dryness see you fed
  By the involuntary powers,
  Nights of insult let you pass
  Watched by every human love.

Wonderful! Look here for some comments about the poem.

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