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 Other World
Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–1896)
IT lies around us like a cloud,—
  A world we do not see;
Yet the sweet closing of an eye
  May bring us there to be.
Its gentle breezes fan our cheek;        5
  Amid our worldly cares
Its gentle voices whisper love,
  And mingle with our prayers.
Sweet hearts around us throb and beat,
  Sweet helping hands are stirred,        10
And palpitates the veil between
  With breathings almost heard.
The silence—awful, sweet, and calm—
  They have no power to break;
For mortal words are not for them        15
  To utter or partake.
So thin, so soft, so sweet they glide,
  So near to press they seem,—
They seem to lull us to our rest,
  And melt into our dream.        20
And in the hush of rest they bring
  ’T is easy now to see
How lovely and how sweet a pass
  The hour of death may be.
To close the eye, and close the ear,        25
  Rapt in a trance of bliss,
And gently dream in loving arms
  To swoon to that—from this.
Scarce knowing if we wake or sleep,
  Scarce asking where we are,        30
To feel all evil sink away,
  All sorrow and all care.
Sweet souls around us! watch us still,
  Press nearer to our side,
Into our thoughts, into our prayers,        35
  With gentle helpings glide.
Let death between us be as naught,
  A dried and vanished stream;
Your joy be the reality,
  Our suffering life the dream.        40

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