Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
VII. Death: Immortality: Heaven
Willis Gaylord Clark (1808–1841)
METHINKS, when on the languid eye
  Life’s autumn scenes grow dim;
When evening’s shadows veil the sky;
  And pleasure’s siren hymn
Grows fainter on the tuneless ear,        5
Like echoes from another sphere,
  Or dreams of seraphim—
It were not sad to cast away
This dull and cumbrous load of clay.
It were not sad to feel the heart        10
  Grow passionless and cold;
To feel those longings to depart
  That cheered the good of old;
To clasp the faith which looks on high,
Which fires the Christian’s dying eye,        15
  And makes the curtain-fold
That falls upon his wasting breast,
The door that leads to endless rest.
It seems not lonely thus to lie
  On that triumphant bed,        20
Till the pure spirit mounts on high
  By white-winged seraphs led:
Where glories, earth may never know,
O’er “many mansions” lingering glow,
  In peerless lustre shed.        25
It were not lonely thus to soar
Where sin and grief can sting no more.
And though the way to such a goal
  Lies through the clouded tomb,
If on the free, unfettered soul        30
  There rest no stains of gloom,
How should its aspirations rise
Far through the blue unpillared skies,
  Up to its final home,
Beyond the journeyings of the sun,        35
Where streams of living waters run!

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