Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Henry Van Dyke on Death

Here is a beautiful poem on death:

I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails
to the morning breeze
and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until at length
she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea
and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says:
"There, she is gone!"
"Gone where?"
Gone from my sight.
That is all. She is
just as large in mast and hull and spar
as she was when she left my side
and she is just as able to bear the load
of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me,
not in her.
And just at the moment when someone at my side says:
"There, she is gone!"
There are other eyes watching her coming,
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout:
"Here she comes!"
And that is dying.

Henry Van Dyke