Sonnet:To David Friedrich Strauss

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Sonnet: To David Friedrich Strauss
by Epes Sargent
To David Friedrich Strauss, after reading his last work, The Old Faith and the New. From Poems, in Harper's Cyclopædia (1909)

Thou say'st, my friend, 'twould strike thee with dismay
To be assured that life would not end here;
Since utter death is less a thing to fear
In thy esteem than life in clearer day:
For life, continuous life, thou wouldst not pray;
And even reunion with the loved and near
Is not to thee a prospect that could cheer,
Or shed a glory on thy earthward way:---
O power of thought perverse and morbid mood,
Conspiring thus to numb and blind the heart!
The universe gives back what we impart,---
As we elect, gives poison or pure food:
Mock---silence---the soul's whisper,---and Despair
Becomes to man than Hope itself more fair!