O! Sun, resplendent in the smiling morn,
As thou dost view the wastes of earth and sky,
Canst thou behold the realms of the Unborn,
Canst thou behold the realms of those who die?
Where dwells the spirit e'er its mortal birth,
E'er yet it suffereth
The pain and sorrow incident to earth?
Where after death?
The Sun gave answer, with refulgent glow:
Child of a fleeting hour, thou too must die to know.
Canst tell, thou jeweled canopy of space,
Bewildering, and boundless to the eyes,
Knowest thou the unborn spirits' dwelling place?
Knowest thou the distant regions of the skies
Where rest the spirits freed from mundane strife,
From mortal grief and care?
Knowest thou the secret of the future life?
Canst thou tell where?
From Space infinite echoed the reply:
Child of a transient day, thou too, to know, must die.
Ye Winds who blow and cleave the formless skies,
Ye Winds who blow with desolating breath,
Can ye reveal pre-natal mysteries,
And can ye solve the mystery of death?
Within thy ambient and viewless folds
Imprisoned in the air,
May not the spirits wait their earthly moulds?
Then tell ye where.
The answer came invisible and low:
Frail child of earthly clay, thou too must die to know.
What are your tidings, O ye raging Seas?
Do your waves wash the islands of the blest,
Or view the Gardens of Hesperides?
Know you the unborn spirits' place of rest?
And do your waters lave that unknown shore?
And when the night is gone,
Shall the freed spirit, tired and faint no more,
Behold the dawn?
The sad sea murmured, as its waves rolled high:
As all those gone before, thou, too, to know, must die.