Sufficient knowledge has been gained to show
That animals and birds exhibit signs
Of grief; they surely act as if they know
One of their kind no longer lives, at times,
Their conduct in those circumstances then
Displays an understanding that an end
Has come to something known and somehow, when
The same occurs they know it cannot mend.
Of all the animals the elephant
Leads clearly in this knowledge thus displayed.
It has been shown they even know we can't
Return to life when this last journey's made.
Our own immortal spirits may combine
With those of other life forms then, in time.
Eric Bult's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (They know by Eric Bult )
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William Ernest Henley