Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SONNET: 18, by HILAIRE BELLOC

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SONNET: 18, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When you to acheron's ugly water came
Last Line: Good land to leave: and young love satisfied.
Alternate Author Name(s): Belloc, Joseph Hilaire Pierre Rene
Subject(s): Death; Dead, The

WHEN you to Acheron's ugly water come
Where darkness is and formless mourners brood
And down the shelves of that distasteful flood
Survey the human rank in order dumb.
When the pale dead go forward, tortured more
By nothingness and longing than by fire,
Which bear their hands in suppliance with desire,
With stretched desire for the ulterior shore.

Then go before them like a royal ghost
And tread like Egypt or like Carthage crowned;
Because in your Mortality the most
Of all we may inherit has been found --
Children for memory: the Faith for pride.
Good land to leave: and young Love satisfied.

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