Mary Emily Bradley (1835-1898)

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In Death

How still the room is! But a while ago
The sound of sobbing voices vexed my ears,
And on my face there fell a rain of tears--
I scarce knew why or whence, but now I know.
For this sweet speaking silence, this surcease
Of the dumb, desperate struggle after breath,
This painless consciousness of perfect peace,
Which fills the place of anguish--it is Death!
What folly to have feared it! Not the best
Of all we knew of life can equal this,
Blending in one the sense of utter rest,
The vivid certainty of boundless bliss!
O Death, the loveliness that is in thee,
Could the world know, the world would cease to be.

(Text from The Book of Sorrow)