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Short poem

Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896)

The Other World

              1It lies around us like a cloud,
              2     A world we do not see;
              3Yet the sweet closing of an eye
              4     May bring us there to be.

              5Its gentle breezes fan our cheek;
              6     Amid our worldly cares,
              7Its gentle voices whisper love,
              8     And mingle with our prayers.

              9Sweet hearts around us throb and beat,
            10     Sweet helping hands are stirred,
            11And palpitates the veil between
            12     With breathings almost heard.

            13The silence, awful, sweet, and calm,
            14     They have no power to break;
            15For mortal words are not for them
            16     To utter or partake.

            17So thin, so soft, so sweet, they glide,
            18     So near to press they seem,
            19They lull us gently to our rest,
            20     They melt into our dream.

            21And in the hush of rest they bring
            22     'T is easy now to see
            23How lovely and how sweet a pass
            24     The hour of death may be; --

            25To close the eye, and close the ear,
            26     Wrapped in a trance of bliss,
            27And, gently drawn in loving arms,
            28     To swoon to that -- from this, --

            29Scarce knowing if we wake or sleep,
            30     Scarce asking where we are,
            31To feel all evil sink away,
            32     All sorrow and all care.

            33Sweet souls around us! watch us still;
            34     Press nearer to our side;
            35Into our thoughts, into our prayers,
            36     With gentle helpings glide.

            37Let death between us be as naught,
            38     A dried and vanished stream;
            39Your joy be the reality,
            40     Our suffering life the dream.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Collected Poems of Harriet Beecher Stowe, ed. John Michael Moran, Jr. (Hartford: Transcendental Books, 1967): 27. PS 2951 M6 Robarts Library
First publication date: 1867
Publication date note: Stowe, Harriet Beecher, "The Other World," Religious Poems (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1867): 19-21.
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2002
Recent editing: 1:2002/12/25

Form: quatrains
Rhyme: abcb

Other poems by Harriet Beecher Stowe