Across The River Poem by Lucy Larcom

Across The River

WHEN for me the silent oar
Parts the Silent River,
And I stand upon the shore
Of the strange Forever,
Shall I miss the loved and known?
Shah I vainly seek mine own?
Mid the crowd that come to meet
Spirits sin-forgiven, —
Listening to their echoing feet
Down the streets of heaven, —
Shall I know a footstep near
That I listen, wait for here?
Then will one approach the brink
With a hand extended,
One whose thoughts I loved to think
Ere the veil was tended;
Saying, 'Welcome! we have died,
And again are side by side?'
Saying, 'I will go with thee,
That thou be not lonely,
To yon hills of mystery:
I have waited only
Until now, to climb with thee
Yonder hills of mystery.'
Can the bonds that make us here
Know ourselves immortal,
Drop away, like foliage sear,
At life's inner portal?
What is holiest below
Must forever live and grow.
I shall love the angels well,
After I have found them
In the mansions where they dwell,
With the glory round them:
But at first, without surprise,
Let me look in human eyes.
Step by step our feet must go
Up the holy mountain;
Drop by drop, within us flow,
Life's unfailing fountain.
Angels sing with crowns that burn;
We shah have our song to learn.
He who on our earthly path
Bids us help each other —
Who his Well-beloved hath
Made our Elder Brother —
Will but clasp the chain of love
Closer, when we meet above.
Therefore dread I not to go
O'er the Silent River.
Death, thy hastening oar I know;
Bear me, thou Life-giver,
Through the waters, to the shore,
Where mine own have gone before!

Lucy Larcom

Lucy Larcom

the United States
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