Poems (Coates 1916)/Volume I/Life

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For works with similar titles, see Life.


BEFORE we knew thee thou wert with us; aye,
In that far time forgotten and obscure
When, doubtful of ourselves, of naught secure,
We feebly uttered first our human cry.
We had not murmured hadst thou passed us by,
And now, with all our vaunted knowledge sure,
We know not from what source of bounty pure
Thou camest, our dull clay to glorify.

Yet—for thou didst awake us when but dust,
Careless of thee—one tender hope redeems
Each loss by the dark river: more and more
We feel that we who long for thee may trust
To wake again, as children do from dreams,
And find thee waiting on the farther shore.