Sunday, June 17, 2018


 "Yet not to thine eternal resting-place 
 Shalt thou retire alone, thou shalt lie down 
 with patriarchs of the infant world—with kings, 
 The powerful of the earth—the wise, the good, 
 fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past, 
 all in one mighty sepulcher. The hills 
 rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun,—the vales 
 stretching in pensive quietness between;
 the venerable woods—rivers that move
 In majesty, and the complaining brooks
 that make the meadows green; and, poured round all,
 Old Ocean’s gray and melancholy waste,—
 are but the solemn decorations all
 Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun,
 The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
 Are shining on the sad abodes of death,
 Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
 The globe are but a handful to the tribes
 That slumber in its bosom.—Take the wings
 of morning, pierce the wilderness,
 Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
 Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound,
 Save his own dashings—yet the dead are there:
 And millions in those solitudes, since first
 The flight of years began, have laid them down
 In their last sleep—the dead reign there alone.
So shalt thou rest, and what if thou withdraw
 In silence from the living, and no friend
 Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
 will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh
When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
 plod on, and each one as before will chase
 His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave
 Their mirth and their employments, and shall come
And make their bed with thee. As the long train
 Of ages glide away, the sons of men,
 The youth in life’s green spring, and he who goes
 In the full strength of years, matron and maid,
 The speechless babe, and the gray-headed man—
 Shall one by one be gathered to thy side,
 By those, who in their turn shall follow them.
So live, that when thy summons comes to join
 The innumerable caravan, which moves
 To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
 His chamber in the silent halls of death,
 Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
 Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
 By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
 Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
 About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams."

-William Cullen Bryant  (circa)1817

No comments:

Post a Comment