Ella Wheeler Wilcox (5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)
The Land Of The Gone-Away Souls
Oh! that is a beautiful land, I wis,
The land of the Gone-away Souls.
Yes, a lovelier region by far than this
(Though this is a world most fair).
The goodliest goal of all good goals,
Else why do our friends stay there?
I walk in a world that is sweet with friends,
And earth I have ever held dear;
Yes, love with duty and beauty blends
To render the earth-place bright.
But faster and faster, year on year,
My comrades hurry from sight.
They hurry away to the Over-There,
And few of them say farewell;
Yes, they go away with a secret air
As if on a secret quest.
And they come not back to earth to tell
Why that land seems the best.
Messages come from the mystic sphere,
But few know the code of that land,
Yes, many the message but few who hear,
In the din of the world below,
Or hearing the message, can understand
Those truths which we long to know.
But it must be the goal of all good goals,
And I think of it more and more.
Yes, think of that land of the Gone-Away Souls
And its growing hosts of friends
Who will hail my bark when it touches shore
Where the last brief journey ends.
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