Richard Henry Stoddard

(1825-1903 / USA)

Mors Et Vita - Poem by Richard Henry Stoddard

“UNDER the roots of the roses,
Down in the dark, rich mould,
The dust of my dear one reposes
Like a spark which night incloses
When the ashes of day are cold.”

“Under the awful wings
Which brood over land and sea,
And whose shadows nor lift nor flee,—
This is the order of things,
And hath been from of old:
First production,
And last destruction;
So the pendulum swings,
While cradles are rocked and bells are tolled.”

“Not under the roots of the roses,
But under the luminous wings
Of the King of kings
The soul of my love reposes,
With the light of morn in her eyes,
Where the Vision of Life discloses
Life that sleeps not nor dies.”

“Under or over the skies
What is it that never dies?
Spirit—if such there be—
Whom no one hath seen nor heard,
We do not acknowledge thee;
For, spoken or written word,
Thou art but a dream, a breath;
Certain is nothing but Death!”


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Poem Submitted: Friday, October 15, 2010



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