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
The Passage
Ludwig Uhland (1787–1862)
 
From the German by Sarah Taylor Austin

MANY a year is in its grave
Since I crossed this restless wave:
And the evening, fair as ever,
Shines on ruin, rock, and river.
 
Then in this same boat beside,        5
Sat two comrades old and tried,—
One with all a father’s truth,
One with all the fire of youth.
 
One on earth in silence wrought,
And his grave in silence sought;        10
But the younger, brighter form
Passed in battle and in storm.
 
So, whene’er I turn mine eye
Back upon the days gone by,
Saddening thoughts of friends come o’er me,        15
Friends that closed their course before me.
 
But what binds us, friend to friend,
But that soul with soul can blend?
Soul-like were those hours of yore;
Let us walk in soul once more.        20
 
Take, O boatman, thrice thy fee,
Take, I give it willingly;
For, invisible to thee,
Spirits twain have crossed with me.
 
 
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