All-Souls' Day

XXVIII

Close-wrapped in living thought I stand

Where death and daybreak divide the land, —

Death and daybreak on either hand

For exit and for entry;

While shapes like wind-blown shadows pass,

Lost and lamenting, " Alas, alas,

This body is only shrivelling grass,

And the soul a starlit sentry

Who guards, and as he comes and goes,

Points now to daybreak's burning rose,

And now toward worldhood's charnel close

Leans with regretless warning" . . .

I hear them thus — O thus I hear

My doomed companions crowding near,

Until my faith, absolved from fear,

Sings out into the morning,

And tells them how we travel far,

From life to life, from star to star;

Exult, unknowing what we are;

And quell the obscene derision

Of demon-haunters in our heart

Who work for worms and have no part

In Thee, O ultimate power, who art

Our victory and our vision.

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