Their Candles Are All Out

For L. C. B.

WHAT hap dismays the dead? Their couch is low;
And over it the summer grasses creep,
Or winter snows enshroud it, white and deep,
Or long-prevailing winds of autumn blow.

They hear no rumor of our joy or woe:
The ways we tread are perilous and steep;
They climb no longer, free at last to sleep,
Our weariful, vexed life no more to know.

Do they forget their loves of long ago,
And the glad hopes that made their glad hearts leap?
Or the spent joys for which they used to weep,
When Love and Sorrow buffeted them so?

On us, by winds of Fate swept to and fro,
Do they have pity, whom no rude winds sweep?
How can I tell? Their mystery they keep,
Beneath the blossoms as beneath the snow.

And yet, I think, from that deep rest below,
They would be glad to rise and love and weep;
Once more the thankless harvest field to reap
Of human joy and pain, — life's whole to know.
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