SCARCE-TOLERABLE life which all life long
Is dominated by one dread of death,--
Is such life, life? If so, who pondereth
May call salt sweetness or call discord song.
Ah me, this solitude where swarms a throng!
Life slowly grows and dwindles breath by breath:
Death slowly grows on us; no word it saith,
Its cords all lengthened and its pillars strong.
Life dies apace, a life that but deceives:
Death reigns as though it lived, and yet is dead:
Where is the life that dies not, but that lives?
The sweet long life immortal, ever young,
True life that woos us with a silver tongue
Of hope, much said and much more left unsaid.