Long is it since they ceased to look on light,
To thrill with hope in our fond human way.
Why grudge them rest in their sweet ancient night,
Ungrieved, if never gay,
Eased from Life's sorry day?
Is it because at times when storms subside
Through which thou oarest Life's ill-fitted bark,
Dreams rise, from sounds of lapping of the tide,
To veil the daylight stark,
Its anguish and its cark?
What was their joy here? Absence of great pain?
Some music in lamentings of the wind?
The mystic whispers of the dripping rain?
Sad yearnings toward their kind?
Ruth for old loves that pined?
For these would'st thou revoke their flawless rest?
Restore hope unfulfilled which they knew here?
Oh! well they fare, safe sheltered in that nest
Of silence, far from fear,
Their memory not yet sere.
Take thou no joy in any passing dream
Of revocation from their stainless state!
Love them: haste on, till thou to others seem
As these to thee - their mate,
A waning name, a date!
Till then, the low keen sound of Life's "Alas!"
Change as thou canst to themes in every key,
That so for thee and others time may pass
Full of presagings of content to be
Age-long in that far bourne,
Till thought end, quite outworn.