In the Evening

In Memoriam Frederici Treves, 1853-1923

(Dorchester Cemetery, 2 Jan. 1924)

In the evening, when the world knew he was dead,
He lay amid the dust and hoar
Of ages; and to a spirit attending said.
" This chalky bed? —
I surely seem to have been here before?"

" O yes. You have been here. You knew the place,
Substanced as you, long ere your call;
And if you cared to do so you might trace
In this gray space
Your being, and the being of men all."

Thereto said he: " Then why was I called away?
I knew no trouble or discontent:
Why did I not prolong my ancient stay
Herein for aye?"
The spirit shook its head. " None knows: you went.

" And though, perhaps, Time did not sign to you
The need to go, dream-vision sees
How Aesculapius' phantom hither flew,
With Galen's, too,
And his of Cos — plague-proof Hippocrates,

" And beckoned you forth, whose skill had read as theirs,
Maybe, had Science chanced to spell
In their day, modern modes to stem despairs
That mankind bears! . . .
Enough. You have returned. And all is well."
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