Eternity

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Up through the ruins of my earthly dreams
     I catch the stars of immortality;
     What store of joy can lurk in heaven for me?
What other hope feed those celestial gleams?
Can there be other grapes whose nectar streams
     For me, whom earth's vine fails? Oh! can it be
     That this most hopeless heart again may see
A forehead garlanded, an eye that beams?
Alas! 'tis childhood's dream that vanisheth!
     The heaven-born soul that feigns it can return
          And end in peace this hopeless strife with fate!
There is no backward step; 'tis only death
     Can still these cores of wasting fire that burn,
          Can break the chain, the captive liberate.

by Erik Johan Stagnelius, translated by Edmund Gosse

Source: Littell's Living Age (1886). Stagnelius, translated by Edmund Gosse. Volume 170, Issue 2200 : Eternity.

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