Shall I Not Know?

When over me the heedless wild things grow,
Will any mourn for me a little space,
Or grieve that in that grave so cool and low
I find my resting-place?

The strong world will go on though I am still,
The morning sun mock darkness with his pride,
The sunset splendors clothe the western hill,
As though I had not died.

The spring flowers will awake in field and hedge,
And summer roses answer to the sun;
The lone, last bird wail in the icy sedge
For winter's reign begun;

And loves, like summer blossoms, burst to bloom
And sweeten with their fragrance all the air,
And hates grow strong, like weeds about a tomb,
While I am silent there.

No fleeting joys shall mock me where I lie;
No hate so keen that it can pierce that rest:
I shall not hear Life's footsteps passing by,
Or know that Death is best.

Yet, shouldst thou come, when all the stars are bright
And all the sky by their cold light possest,
And hark to hear, through voices of the night,
Her voice who loved thee best,

Perchance, though I were frozen in the grave,
My heart might quicken when it heard thy call,
And even then strong Love be strong to save —
Love who is lord of all:

Or if, sealed fast by Death, even to that cry
My ears were deaf and my closed lips were dumb,
My soul, heedless of others passing by,
Might know that Thou hadst come.

For me the busy world will not stand still,
Nor in one heart the summer cease to glow;
And Love and Life on earth shall have their will:
But, come! shall I not know?
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