I Think When I Stand in the Presence of Death.

A poem by Alfred Castner King

I think when I stand in the presence of Death,
How futile is earthy endeavor,
If it be, with the flight of the last labored breath,
The tongue has been silenced forever.

For no message is flashed from the lustreless eyes,
When clos-ed so languid and weary,
And no voice from the darkness re-echoes our cries,
In response to the agonized query!

We gaze at the solemn mysterious shroud
With a vague and insatiate yearning,
And perceive but the sombre exterior cloud,
With our vision of no discerning.

Not a whispering sound, not a glimmer of light,
From that shadowy strand uncertain;
But He who ordained the day and night,
Framed also Death's silent curtain.

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