A little light, heat, motion, breath;
Then silence, darkness, and decay;
This is the change from life to death
In him the weareth clay.
But Time’s one drop ’twixt that and this,
Ah! What a gulf of doom it is.
The cheek is fair, the eye is bold,
The ripe lip like a berry red;
Then the shroud clothes them;—thus behold
The living and the dead!
And how time’s last cold drop serence
Swells to eternity between.
Yet not for horror, nor to weep;
But through the solemn dark to see
That life, though swift, is wonder-deep,
And death the only key
That lets to that mysterious height
Where earth and heaven in God unite.