Quiet Dead! by George MacDonald

Quiet, quiet dead,
Have ye aught to say
From your hidden bed
In the earthy clay?

Fathers, children, mothers,
Ye are very quiet;
Can ye shout, my brothers?
I would know you by it!

Have ye any words
That are like to ours?
Have ye any birds?
Have ye any flowers?

Could ye rise a minute
When the sun is warm?
I would know you in it,
I would take no harm.

I am half afraid
In the ghostly night;
If ye all obeyed
I should fear you quite.

But when day is breaking
In the purple east
I would meet you waking–
One of you at least–

When the sun is tipping
Every stony block,
And the sun is slipping
Down the weathercock.

Quiet, quiet dead,
I will not perplex you;
What my tongue hath said
Haply it may vex you!

Yet I hear you speaking
With a quiet speech,
As if ye were seeking
Better things to teach:

“Wait a little longer,
Suffer and endure
Till your heart is stronger
And your eyes are pure–

A little longer, brother,
With your fellow-men:
We will meet each other
Otherwhere again.”

See also  Sonnet 17
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