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 I call on the souls who have left the light
To reveal their lot;
I bend mine ear to that wall of night,
And they answer not.
But I hear around me sighs of pain
And the cry of fear,
And a sound like the slow sad dropping of rain,
Each drop a tear!
“Ah, the cloud is dark, and day by day
I am moving thither:
I must pass beneath it on my way—
God pity me!—whither?”
Ah, soul of mine! so brave and wise
In the life-storm loud,
Fronting so calmly all human eyes
In the sunlit crowd!
Now standing apart with God and me
Thou art weakness all,
Gazing vainly after the things to be
Through Death's dread wall.
But never for this, never for this
Was thy being lent;
For the craven's fear is but selfishness,
Like his merriment.
Folly and Fear are sisters twain:
One closing her eyes,
The other peopling the dark inane
With spectral lies.
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