Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE KISS OF GOD, by JOHN WHITE CHADWICK

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THE KISS OF GOD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When the great leader's task was done
Last Line: It is not hard to die.
Subject(s): Death; Jews; Mourning; Dead, The; Judaism; Bereavement

WHEN the great leader's task was done,
He stood on Pisgah's height,
And saw, far off, the westering sun
Drop down into the night;

Saw, too, the land in which, alas!
He might not hope to dwell
Spread fairly out; and then—for so
Talmudic legends tell—.

Jehovah touched him and he slept;
And smooth the mountain sod
Was levelled o'er him and 'twas writ
"Died by the kiss of God."

The kiss of God! We talk of death
In many learned ways,—
We know so much,—which of them all
So simple in its praise

As this which from the oldest days
Has treasured been apart,
To comfort in this heel of time
The mourner's aching heart?

We walk our bright or desert road
And, when we reach the end,
Bends o'er us with gentle face
The Universal Friend.

Upon our lips his own are laid:
We do not strive or cry.
The kiss of God! Upon that kiss
It is not hard to die.

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