John White Chadwick (1840-?)

"Writer of religious verse." (Sharp)

The Hardest Lot

To look upon the face of a dead friend
Is hard; but 'tis not more than we can bear
If, haply, we can see peace written there,--
Peace after pain, and welcome so the end,
Whate'er the past, whatever death may send.
Yea, and that face a gracious smile may wear,
If love till death was perfect, sweet, and fair;
But there is woe from which may God defend:
To look upon our friendship lying dead,
While we live on, and eat, and drink, and sleep--
Mere bodies from which all the soul has fled--
And that dead thing year after year to keep
Locked in cold silence in its dreamless bed:--
There must be hell while there is such a deep.

(Text from American Sonnets)

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