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Grief For The Dead

The Angel Of Patience

Grief For The Dead

O hearts that never cease to yearn!
O brimming tears that ne'er are dried!
The dead, though they depart, return
As though they had not died!

The living are the only dead;
The dead live,—nevermore to die;
And often, when we mourn them fled,
They never were so nigh!

And though they lie beneath the waves,
Or sleep within the churchyard dim,
(Ah! through how many different graves
God's children go to him!)—

Yet every grave gives up its dead
Ere it is overgrown with grass;
Then why should hopeless tears be shed,
Or need we cry, "Alas"?

Or why should Memory, veiled with gloom,
And like a sorrowing mourner craped,
Sit weeping o'er an empty tomb,
Whose captives have escaped?

'Tis but a mound,—and will be mossed
Whene'er the summer grass appears;
The loved, though wept, are never lost;
We only lose—our tears!

Nay, Hope may whisper with the dead
By bending forward where they are;
But Memory, with a backward tread,
Communes with them afar.

The joys we lose are but forecast,
And we shall find them all once more;
We look behind us for the Past,
But lo! 'tis all before!


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