Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE DEAD FRIEND, by ROBERT SOUTHEY



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE DEAD FRIEND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Not to the grave, not to the grave, my soul
Last Line: There will be joy in grief.
Variant Title(s): Communings
Subject(s): Death; Friendship; Dead, The


NOT to the grave, not to the grave, my soul
Descend to contemplate
The form that once was dear!
The spirit is not there
Which kindled that dead eye,
Which throbb'd in that cold heart,
Which in that motionless hand
Hath met thy friendly grasp.
The spirit is not there!
It is but lifeless, perishable flesh
That moulders in the grave;
Earth, air, and water's ministering particles
Now to the elements
Resolved, their uses done.
Not to the grave, not to the grave, my soul,
Follow thy friend beloved;
The spirit is not there!

Often together have we talk'd of death;
How sweet it were to see
All doubtful things made clear;
How sweet it were with powers
Such as the Cherubim,
To view the depth of heaven!
O Edmund! thou hast first
Begun the travel of eternity!
I look upon the stars,
And think that thou art there,
Unfetter'd as the thought that follows thee.

And we have often said how sweet it were
With unseen ministry of angel power,
To watch the friends we loved.
Edmund! we did not err!
Sure I have felt thy presence! Thou hast given
A birth to holy thought,
Hast kept me from the world unstain'd and pure.
Edmund! we did not err!
Our best affections here,
They are not like the toys of infancy;
The soul outgrows them not;
We do not cast them off;
O, if it could be so,
It were indeed a dreadful thing to die!

Not to the grave, not to the grave, my soul,
Follow thy friend beloved!
But in the lonely hour,
But in the evening walk,
Think that he companies thy solitude;
Think that he holds with thee
Mysterious intercourse;
And though remembrance wake a tear,
There will be joy in grief.





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