Away from living man’s abode
The tides of sorrow sweep,
Bearing a dead man on the road
To where the weary sleep.
And down the hill, in sunny state,
Glad footsteps troop along;
A noble figure walks sedate,
The centre of the throng.
The streams flow onward, onward flow,
Touch, waver, and are still;
And through the parted crowds doth go,
Before the prayer, the will.
“Weep not, O mother! Young man, rise!”
The bearers hear and stay;
Up starts the form; wide flash the eyes;
With gladness blends dismay.
The lips would speak, as if they caught
Some converse sudden broke,
When echoing words the dead man sought,
And Hades’ silence woke.
The lips would speak. The eyes’ wild stare
Gives place to ordered sight;
The low words die upon the air–
The soul is dumb with light.
He brings no news; he has forgot;
Or saw with vision weak:
Thou seest all our unseen lot,
And yet thou dost not speak.
It may be as a mother keeps
A secret gift in store;
Which if he knew, the child that sleeps,
That night would sleep no more.
Oh, thine are all the hills of gold!
Yet gold Thou gavest none;
Such gifts would leave thy love untold–
The widow clasps her son.
No word of hers hath left a trace
Of uttered joy or grief;
Her tears alone have found a place
Upon the holy leaf.
Oh, speechless sure the widow’s pain,
To lose her only boy!
Speechless the flowing tides again
Of new-made mother’s joy!
Life is triumphant. Joined in one
The streams flow to the gate;
Death is turned backward to the sun,
And Life is hailed our Fate.