by: Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896)

      T lies around us like a cloud,
      A world we do not see;
      Yet the same closing of an eye
      May bring us there to be.
      Its gentle breezes fan our cheek;
      Amid our worldly cares,
      Its gentle voices whisper love,
      And mingle with our prayers.
      Sweet hearts around us throb and beat,
      Sweet helping hands are stirred,
      And palpitates the veil between
      With breathings almost heard.
      The silence, awful, sweet, and calm,
      They have no power to break;
      For mortal words are not for them
      To utter or partake.
      So thin, so soft, so sweet, they glide,
      So near to press they seem,
      They lull us gently to our rest,
      They melt into our dream.
      And in the hush of rest they bring
      'T is easy now to see
      How lovely and how sweet a pass
      The hour of death may be; --
      To close the eye, and close the ear,
      Wrapped in a trance of bliss,
      And, gently drawn in loving arms,
      To swoon to that -- from this, --
      Scarce knowing if we wake or sleep,
      Scarce asking where we are,
      To feel all evil sink away,
      All sorrow and all care.
      Sweet souls around us! watch us still;
      Press nearer to our side;
      Into our thoughts, into our prayers,
      With gentle helpings glide.
      Let death between us be as naught,
      A dried and vanished stream;
      Your joy be the reality,
      Our suffering like the dream.

"The Other World" is reprinted from Religious Poems. Harriet Beecher Stowe. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1867.




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