Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
1545. The Travellers
By Mark A. De Wolfe Howe
THEY made them ready and we saw them go
Out of our very lives;
Yet this world holds them all,
And soon it must befall
That we shall know        5
How this one fares, how that one thrives;
And one day—who knows when?
They shall be with us here again.
Another traveller left us late
Whose life was as the soul of ours;        10
A stranger guest went with him to the gate,
And closed it breathing back a breath of flowers.
And what the eyes we loved now look upon,
What industries the hands employ,
In what new speech the tongue hath joy,        15
We may not know—until one day,
And then another, as our toil is done,
The same still guest shall visit us,
And one by one
Shall take us by the hand and say,        20
“Come with me to the country marvellous,
Where he has dwelt so long beyond your sight.
’T were idle waiting for his own return
That ne’er shall be; face the perpetual light,
And with him learn        25
Whate’er the heavens unfold of knowledge infinite.”
Each after each then shall we rise,
And follow through the stranger’s secret gate,
And we shall ask and hear, beyond surmise,
What glorious life is his, since desolate        30
We stood about the bed
Where our blind eyes looked down on him as dead.


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