Classic and Contemporary Poetry
THE CALL OF ETERNITY, by CHARLES V. H. ROBERTS
First Line: Beloved, thou shalt be with me to-night
Last Line: Shalt be learning thy spirit's grandest consummation.
Subject(s): Future Life; Immortality; Soul; Retribution; Eternity; After Life
Beloved, thou shalt be with me to-night
In Paradise! upon an emerald hill
Paling the golden stars. Long have I waited,
A tale twixt earth and heaven; watched in patience,
Love, ambition, and in prayer. Lonely
Years upon my soul conjured the perished
Days of earth, sculptured Time in the slowest
Clay of History; eternal yearning
Answered only by the sighs of stars.
Be brave, Beloved, for soon thy pain shall pass,
Bitter agony in azure ending.
My spirit's close; the shadows lengthen; the life
Beyondits puzzle now lies near.
High on the pinnacle hang our destinies;
And for the ages that come after,
We'll not sigh. Be brave! Eternal joy
Is safe from Death. Fear not these walléd silences;
But weave the tapestries and silks of heaven.
Be not sorrowed by the griefs of those now left
Behind. Sweet is the oblivion of sleep,
But sweeter farthe sleep beyond oblivion.
Then the rumour of thine illness cast
Its death-lamp ray into eternity;
Shed its argent irony as in
The centuries before, the sprites of Pharaohs
Gleaned from the perished cities of the Nile.
The Euphrates dangled like a thread of gold
Across the plains of sand, as Babylon Kings
Spilled wine from their holy cups to gods
Of brass, of bronze, of wood and stone, until
That magic writing on the plaster of the wall.
I was confusedstrangely sad, yet joyful
'Mid our colonnades of marble echoing
With discussions of diviner things.
A moment's wound of piteousnessthen
I dreamed afar to earth. A song of day-dawn
Sending words, a great phantasmal pageant
Passed upon my spirit solitude:
The burden of long-waiting years was lifting
From my soul. Thy mystic breathing comes!
Thy presence soon will be another Sphere
In Space; a gem rising in silence
From star to star; lose sense and form;
A name to mingle in eternity,
Up-wrapped our souls together in one flame.
We'll make merry in the jests of constellations,
Across the golden sands, and timeless shore;
Nor count the passing hours save to compute
How they make a closer oneness of us twain.
Thou shalt be a princess in a pearléd
City, entertained by angels unawares:
Kings and queens will pay thee homage
From the dynasties of Babylon to Napoleon.
Thou shalt be mine Empress, o'er whose great
Domain thy softened whispers thunder in the sky.
Forever now thou art to me commended:
This body feels thy rays last touch,
Thy soul recessedthine eyes, dim urns of sleep.
Beloved, I have died and gazing back at life
Know whereof I speak. I cannot, dare not
Tell thee more. Later,within
This very house to-nightsome kindly friend
Will kiss thy brow, deck thee with ornaments,
Incense, burning candles, and the sweetness of
Scattered flowers. Thou wilt be a memory
Of beauty. They will discuss the sallies of thy wit
And past accomplishments. But from me thou
Shalt be learning thy spirit's grandest consummation.
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