For the Bed at Kelmscott

In William Morris’s room at Kelmscott Manor, the early 17th century carved oak bed has an embroidered valance and bed-hangings that were designed in 1891 by his daughter, May. This poem, written by Morris, is part of the embroidery. 

The wind’s on the wold
 and the night is a-cold,

And Thames runs chill
 twixt mead and hill,

But kind and dear is the old house here,

And my heart is warm
 midst winter’s harm.

Rest then and rest,
 and think of the best

Twixt summer and spring 
when all birds sing

In the town of the tree,
 as ye lie in me

And scarce dare move 
lest earth and its love

Should fade away
 ere the full of the day.

I am old and have seen 
many things that have been,

Both grief and peace,
 and wane and increase.

No tale I tell
 of ill or well,

But this I say,
 night treadeth on day,

And for worst and best,
 right good is rest.

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