Verse > Anthologies > Higginson and Bigelow, eds. > American Sonnets
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Higginson and Bigelow, comps.  American Sonnets.  1891.
 
Life and Death (II.)
By Christopher Pearse Cranch (1813–1892)
 
OR endless sleep ’t will be,—and that is rest,
Freedom forever from life’s weary cares,—
Or else a life beyond the climbing stairs
And dizzy pinnacles of thought expressed
In symbols such as in our mortal breast        5
Are framed by time and space;—life that upbears
The soul by a law untried amid these snares
Of sense that make it a too willing guest.
So sleep or waking were a boon divine.
Yet why this inextinguishable thirst,        10
This hope, this faith that to existence cling?
Nay e’en the poor dark chrysalis some fine
Ethereal creature prisons, till it burst
Into the unknown air on golden wing.
 
 
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