John Bowring

(1792-1872 / England)

The Blessed Dead - Poem by John Bowring

Is it not death to summon all
The records of the past-to call,
From every niche in Memory's hall,
The fancies of departed hours,
And find a desolate blank around
A stormy sea-a barren ground
Pitch darkness-and a sullen sound
That fades, while gathering silence lowers?

Is it not death? The dead are free,
The past is past, for them and me
To all that was-and ceased to be;
And far as they-and lost as they
To childhood's joys-to youth's gay dream-
To manhood's early gladdening gleam-
Time's stream-time's ever-rolling stream-
Hath borne us, e'en like them, away.

Time! they are slumbering and are blest,
We slumber, but with aching breast,
We die-but do not know the rest.
Yet know-they have no earthly care,
No earthly discords shock their ears,
No earthly sorrows force their tears,
No earthly dangers rouse their fears,
At rest! O could we join them there!

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 21, 2010

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