Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. III. Sorrow and Consolation
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume III. Sorrow and Consolation.  1904.
 
V. Death and Bereavement
Life
Bryan Waller Procter (Barry Cornwall) (1787–1874)
 
WE are born; we laugh; we weep;
    We love; we droop; we die!
Ah! wherefore do we laugh or weep?
    Why do we live or die?
Who knows that secret deep?        5
    Alas not I!
 
Why doth the violet spring
    Unseen by human eye?
Why do the radiant seasons bring
    Sweet thoughts that quickly fly?        10
Why do our fond hearts cling
    To things that die?
 
We toil—through pain and wrong;
    We fight—and fly;
We love; we lose; and then, ere long,        15
    Stone-dead we lie,
O life! is all thy song
    “Endure and—die?”
 
 
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