Life in Death

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Life in Death
by Algernon Charles Swinburne
This poem is from the collection Astrophel and Other Poems, Book I of The Collected Poetical Works of Algernon Charles Swinburne, Vol. VI.

     He should have followed who goes forth before us,
       Last born of us in life, in death first-born:
       The last to lift up eyes against the morn,
     The first to see the sunset. Life, that bore us
     Perchance for death to comfort and restore us,
       Of him hath left us here awhile forlorn,
       For him is as a garment overworn,
     And time and change, with suns and stars in chorus,
     Silent. But if, beyond all change or time,
     A law more just, more equal, more sublime
       Than sways the surge of life's loud sterile sea
     Sways that still world whose peace environs him,
     Where death lies dead as night when stars wax dim,
       Above all thought or hope of ours is he.

August 2, 1891.