Category: Poems on Death and Heaven
Behold A Shaking
Man rising to the doom that shall not err,--
Which hath most dread: the arouse of all or each;
All kindreds of all nations of all speech,
Or one by one of him and him and her?
While dust reanimate begins to stir
Here, there, beyond, beyond, reach beyond reach;
While every wave refashions on the beach
Alive or dead-in-life some seafarer.
Now meeting doth not join or parting part;
True meeting and true parting wait till then,
When whoso meet are joined for evermore,
Face answering face and heart at rest in heart:--
God bring us all rejoicing to the shore
Of happy Heaven, His sheep home to the pen
Blessed that flock safe penned in Paradise;
Blessed this flock which tramps in weary ways;
All form one flock, God's flock; all yield Him praise
By joy or pain, still tending toward the prize.
Joy speaks in praises there, and sings and flies
Where no night is, exulting all its days;
Here, pain finds solace, for, behold, it prays;
In both love lives the life that never dies.
Here life is the beginning of our death,
And death the starting-point whence life ensues;
Surely our life is death, our death is life:
Nor need we lay to heart our peace or strife,
But calm in faith and patience breathe the breath
God gave, to take again when He shall choose.
- Christina G. Rossetti