The Great War

from Late Songs, an electronic edition

The House of Life

The life of the body's a cage,

And the soul within it

Frets to escape, to be free,

Like a lark or a linnet.

But since the struggle's in vain,

She is weary ere long;

She chirps and she sings a little

To assuage her wrong.

Behind the bars she sits brooding

Her evil mishap,

Like a wild little hare or a rabbit

That's caught in a trap,

Till, dazed with despair, she is weary,

And struggles no more,

But plays with the sun and leaf-shadow

That dance on the floor.

They call—they call to each other

O sister so small,

Are you there? Are you there, little brother,

Behind the blank wall?

Like a bird, or a hare, or a rabbit,

Frightened, undone,

The soul calls to another,

be not alone.