HOW living are the dead!
Enshrined, but not apart,
How safe within the heart
We hold them still—our dead,
Whatever else be fled!
Our constancy is deep
Toward those who lie asleep,
Forgetful of the strain and mortal strife
That are so large a part of this our earthly life.
They are our very own:
From them—from them alone,
Nothing can us estrange—
Nor blight autumnal, no; nor wintry change!
The midnight moments keep
A place for them; and though we wake to weep,
They are beside us: still, in joy, in pain—
In every crucial hour, they come again,
Angelic from above—
Bearing the gifts of blessing and of love—
Until the shadowy path they lonely trod
Becomes for us a bridge that upward leads to God.