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.
 
VI. Consolation
“There is no death”
J. L. McCreery
 
THERE is no death! the stars go down
  To rise upon some other shore,
And bright in heaven’s jewelled crown
  They shine forever more.
 
There is no death! the forest leaves        5
  Convert to life the viewless air;
The rocks disorganize to feed
  The hungry moss they bear.
 
There is no death! the dust we tread
  Shall change, beneath the summer showers,        10
To golden grain, or mellow fruit,
  Or rainbow-tinted flowers.
 
There is no death! the leaves may fall,
  The flowers may fade and pass away—
They only wait, through wintry hours,        15
  The warm sweet breath of May.
 
There is no death! the choicest gifts
  That heaven hath kindly lent to earth
Are ever first to seek again
  The country of their birth.        20
 
And all things that for growth of joy
  Are worthy of our love or care,
Whose loss has left us desolate,
  Are safely garnered there.
 
Though life become a dreary waste,        25
  We know its fairest, sweetest flowers,
Transplanted into paradise,
  Adorn immortal bowers.
 
The voice of bird-like melody
  That we have missed and mourned so long        30
Now mingles with the angel choir
  In everlasting song.
 
There is no death! although we grieve
  When beautiful, familiar forms
That we have learned to love are torn        35
  From our embracing arms;
 
Although with bowed and breaking heart,
  With sable garb and silent tread,
We bear their senseless dust to rest,
  And say that they are “dead.”        40
 
They are not dead! they have but passed
  Beyond the mists that blind us here
Into the new and larger life
  Of that serener sphere.
 
They have but dropped their robe of clay        45
  To put their shining raiment on;
They have not wandered far away—
  They are not “lost” or “gone.”
 
Though disenthralled and glorified,
  They still are here and love us yet;        50
The dear ones they have left behind
  They never can forget.
 
And sometimes, when our hearts grow faint
  Amid temptations fierce and deep,
Or when the wildly raging waves        55
  Of grief or passion sweep,
 
We feel upon our fevered brow
  Their gentle touch, their breath of balm;
Their arms enfold us, and our hearts
  Grow comforted and calm.        60
 
And ever near us, though unseen,
  The dear, immortal spirits tread;
For all the boundless universe
  Is life—there are no dead.

1863.
 
 
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