Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. III. Sorrow and Consolation
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume III. Sorrow and Consolation.  1904.
V. Death and Bereavement
A Morning Thought
Edward Rowland Sill (1841–1887)
WHAT if some morning, when the stars were paling,
  And the dawn whitened, and the east was clear,
Strange peace and rest fell on me from the presence
  Of a benignant spirit standing near;
And I should tell him, as he stood beside me:—        5
  “This is our earth—most friendly earth, and fair;
Daily its sea and shore through sun and shadow
  Faithful it turns, robed in its azure air;
“There is blest living here, loving and serving,
  And quest of truth, and serene friendships dear:        10
But stay not, Spirit! Earth has one destroyer—
  His name is Death: flee, lest he find thee here!”
And what if then, while the still morning brightened,
  And freshened in the elm the summer’s breath,
Should gravely smile on me the gentle angel,        15
  And take my hand and say, “My name is Death”?

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