Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE HAPPY DEAD, by JANE BARLOW



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THE HAPPY DEAD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When he for whom, through portals strangely wrought
Last Line: As ways trod once through blinding mirk of night.
Subject(s): Absence; Death; Memory; Mortality; Obituaries; Separation; Isolation; Dead, The


WHEN he for whom, through portals strangely wrought
Of eye and ear, the watchful senses bore
From realms of light and sound a stintless store,
Or thrilled, with many a subtler message fraught,
Down myriad fibres fine: when he is taught
To leave the league of nerve with brain—Death's lore—
In that new world shall he indeed no more
Remember days when these have served his thought?
For haply there may power that passeth men's
Wait on his will, to make the mirroring lens,
The quivering cord, poor tools of mortal wight,
Weak aid and cumbrous seem, and so for him
Earth-life on memory loom all dusk and dim
As ways trod once through blinding mirk of night.





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