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Edward Rowland Sill

The Things That Will Not Die

What am I glad will stay when I have passed

From this dear valley of the world, and stand

On yon snow-glimmering peaks, and lingering cast

From that dim land

A backward look, and haply stretch my hand,

Regretful, now the wish comes true at last?

Sweet strains of music I am glad will be

Still wandering down the wind, for men will hear

And think themselves from all their care set free,

And heaven near

When summer stars burn very still and clear,

And waves of sound are swelling like the sea.

And it is good to know that overhead

Blue skies will brighten, and the sun will shine,

And flowers be sweet in many a garden bed,

And all divine,

(For are they not, O Father, thoughts of thine?)

Earth's warmth and fragrance shall on men be shed.

And I am glad that Night will always come,

Hushing all sounds, even the soft-voiced birds,

Putting away all light from her deep dome,

Until are heard

In the wide starlight's stillness, unknown words,

That make the heart ache till it find its home.

And I am glad that neither golden sky,

Nor violet lights that linger on the hill,

Nor ocean's wistful blue shall satisfy,

But they shall fill

With wild unrest and endless longing still,

The soul whose hope beyond them all must lie.

And I rejoice that love shall never seem

So perfect as it ever was to be,

But endlessly that inner haunting dream

Each heart shall see

Hinted in every dawn's fresh purity,

Hopelessly shadowed in each sunset's gleam.

And though warm mouths will kiss and hands will cling,

And thought by silent thought be understood,

I do rejoice that the next hour will bring

That far off mood,

That drives one like a lonely child to God,

Who only sees and measures everything.

And it is well that when these feet have pressed

The outward path from earth, 'twill not seem sad

To them that stay; but they who love me best

Will be most glad

That such a long unquiet now has had,

At last, a gift of perfect peace and rest.