Ella Wheeler Wilcox (5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)
Be Not Dismayed
Be not dismayed, be not dismayed when death
Sets its white seal upon some worshipped face.
Poor human nature for a little space
Must suffer anguish, when that last drawn breath
Leaves such long silence; but let not thy faith
Fail for a moment in God's boundless grace.
But know, oh know, He has prepared a place
Fairer for our dear dead than worlds beneath,
Yet not beneath; for those entrancing spheres
Surround our earth as seas a barren isle.
Ours is the region of eternal fears;
Theirs is the region where God's radiant smile
Shines outward from the centre, and gives hope
Even to those who in the shadows grope.
They are not far from us. At first though long
And lone may seem the paths that intervene,
If ever on the staff of prayer we lean
The silence will grow eloquent with song
And our weak faith with certitude wax strong.
Intense, yet tranquil; fervent, yet serene,
He must be who would contact World Unseen
And comrade with their Amaranthine throng;
Not through the tossing waves of surging grief
Come spirit-ships to port. When storms subside,
Then with their precious cargoes of relief
Into the harbour of the heart they glide.
For him who will believe and trust and wait
Death's austere silence grows articulate.
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