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
To Death
Anonymous
 
Anonymous Translation from the German

METHINKS it were no pain to die
On such an eve, when such a sky
    O’er-canopies the west;
To gaze my fill on yon calm deep,
And, like an infant, fall asleep        5
    On Earth, my mother’s breast.
 
There ’s peace and welcome in yon sea
Of endless blue tranquillity:
    These clouds are living things;
I trace their veins of liquid gold,        10
I see them solemnly unfold
    Their soft and fleecy wings.
 
These be the angels that convey
Us weary children of a day—
    Life’s tedious nothing o’er—        15
Where neither passions come, nor woes,
To vex the genius of repose
    On Death’s majestic shore.
 
No darkness there divides the sway
With startling dawn and dazzling day;        20
    But gloriously serene
Are the interminable plains:
One fixed, eternal sunset reigns
    O’er the wide silent scene.
 
I cannot doff all human fear;        25
I know thy greeting is severe
    To this poor shell of clay:
Yet come, O Death! thy freezing kiss
Emancipates! thy rest is bliss!
    I would I were away!        30
 
 
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