William Freeland (1828-1903)

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In Prospect of Death

When I shall die--and be it late or soon--
Let merciful memories be my only shroud.
Think me a light veiled in a morning cloud;
Living to knowledge,--like a finished moon,
Though nothing here, to other lands a boon:
Nor let my death give triumph to the proud,
By your weak tears: be happy with the crowd,
Who, spite of woe, are seldom out of tune.
Wise in the common instinct, be ye glad:
There's some redemption in the doom of death
That cuts us from new sins--sweet mercy's plan.
Yet, if for me you be sincerely sad,
Do this sweet homage to my valued breath--
Ease the sad burden of some living man!