Ina Coolbrith

1841 – 1928 / Nauvoo, Illinois

Beside The Dead

IT must be sweet, O thou, my dead, to lie
With hands that folded are from every task
Sealed with the seal of the great mystery —
The lips that nothing answer, nothing ask.
The life - long struggle ended; ended quite
The weariness of patience, and of pain;
And the eyes closed to open not again
On desolate dawn or dreariness of night.
It must be sweet to slumber and forget;
To have the poor tired heart so still at last:
Done with all yearning, done with all regret,
Doubt, fear, hope, sorrow, all forever past:
Past all the hours, or slow of wing or fleet—
It must be sweet, it must be very sweet!
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