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
The Undiscovered Country
Edmund Clarence Stedman (1833–1908)
            COULD we but know
The land that ends our dark, uncertain travel,
  Where lie those happier hills and meadows low;
Ah! if beyond the spirit’s inmost cavil
  Aught of that country could we surely know,        5
            Who would not go?
            Might we but hear
The hovering angels’ high imagined chorus,
  Or catch, betimes, with wakeful eyes and clear
One radiant vista of the realm before us,—        10
  With one rapt moment given to see and hear,
            Ah, who would fear?
            Were we quite sure
To find the peerless friend who left us lonely,
  Or there, by some celestial stream as pure,        15
To gaze in eyes that here were lovelit only,—
  This weary mortal coil, were we quite sure,
            Who would endure?

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