Now spare her sweet body , ye minions of darkness ,
Ye hell-hounds that batter the gate of her ear ;
Her soul stands impregnable , ram ye till doomsday ,
Withdraw from the ramparts , make war on me here .
Come , march in your millions , beleaguer my body ,
With pikes and with pitchforks beriddle my brain ;
My sleep be your plunder , that she lie not sleepless —
I sleepless already now welcome your pain .
In vain , for she suffers , I powerless to aid her ;
Hell mocks at my fury , my impotent grief :
The Lord by whose licence the tempter makes trial ,
Now limit his triumph , and grant her relief .
Finished 2 April 1954