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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
In Death’s Despite
By Celia Laighton Thaxter (1835–1894)
 
WHITHER departs the perfume of the rose?
  Into what life dies music’s golden sound?
Year after year life’s long procession goes
  To hide itself beneath the senseless ground.
Upon the grave’s inexorable brink        5
  Amazed with loss the human creature stands:
Vainly he tries to reason or to think,
  Left with his aching heart and empty hands;
He calls his lost in vain. In sorrow drowned,
Darkness and silence all his sense confound.        10
 
Till in Death’s roll-call stern he hears his name,
  In turn he follows and is lost to sight;
Though comforted by love and crowned by fame,
  He hears the summons dread no man may slight.
Sweetly and clear upon his quiet grave        15
  The birds shall sing, unmindful of his dust;
Softly in turn the long green grass shall wave
  Over his fallen head. In turn he must
Submit to be forgotten, like the rest,
Though high the heart that beat within his breast.        20
 
The rose falls, and the music’s sound is gone;
  Dear voices cease, and clasp of loving hands;
Alone we stand when the brief day is done,
  Searching with saddened eyes earth’s darkening lands.
Worthless as is the lightest fallen leaf        25
  We seem; yet constant as the night’s first star
Kindles our deathless hope, and from our grief
  Is born the trust no misery can mar,
That Love shall lift us all despair above,
Shall conquer death,—yea, Love, and only Love!        30
 
 
CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY
READER’S DIGEST · STUDENT’S COURSE · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
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