Life and Death
By Charles Harpur
A little light, heat, motion, breath,
Then silence, darkness, and decay,
Are all that difference Life and Death
In him that weareth clay:
But Time’s one drop ’twixt that and this,
Ah! What a gulf of doom it is!
The cheek is fair, the eye is bold,
The ripe lip like a berry red:
Then the shroud clothes them;—thus behold
The Living and the Dead!
And how Time’s last cold drop serene
Swells to eternity between!
Yet not for horror, nor to weep;
But through the solemn dark to see
That Life, though swift, is wonder-deep,
And Death the only key,
That lets to that mysterious height
Where Earth and Heaven in God unite.