Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SHADOWED ROAD, by WILLIAM ROSE BENET



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THE SHADOWED ROAD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Our shadows moved before us on the road
Last Line: "light falls about us from a surer sphere!"
Subject(s): Shadows; Death; Love; Dead, The


Our shadows moved before us on the road.
The trees that watched us brooded dark and still,
Streaked by the frost with phosphorescent gray.
Chill followed sharply on a gorgeous day
Of winds, blown leaves, red bonfires. Faintly showed
The mist-ringed moon above the pasture hill.

Our shadows moved before us. By our side
New mystery, throbbing through the rhythm of life,
Echoed our footsteps; and its presence grew
So real to me, I felt its power endue
An archangelic shape, whose phantom stride
Rhymed with our own who walked as man and wife.

Light fell upon us from the glimmering moon,
And light upon his face whose name is Love.
Ah, the rapt eyes, the tender, quickening gaze,
The splendor on that wild immortal face!
Then hurrying cloud possessed the heavens, and soon
I saw his shadow darken from above.

Beyond our own it stretched along the way,
The darkness of Death's cowl, more deep than night.
Gulfing our own, it blotted out the road,
The shadow of Love that brightest dreams forebode.
Yet, in my soul I found a thing to say:
"Though darkness go before, we walk in light.

"This is Love's answer!" For Death's night must move
Onward before two hearts that cast out fear,
Joined by the closest of immortal bonds.
They shall speak truth when prayer to prayer responds,
"Death but precedes us as the shade of Love.
Light falls about us from a surer sphere!"





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