Life and Death.

Three Sonnets.


O Life !  O Death !  Ye dread mysterious twain,1
Baffling us from the cradle to the bier ;2
Phantoms that fill our souls with strange, vague fear,3
Elusive as the forms that haunt the brain4
Of the sick raver. Question we in vain5
The lore of all the ages, sage and seer,6
To answer why and who ye are, and clear7
The clouds that round you evermore remain.8
Whence come ye ?  Whither go ye ?  None may say9
One leads man walking in an idle show10
Along the myriad paths of joy and woe11
To where the other waits to bear away12
The enfranchised Soul, that chartless Ocean o’er,13
To the dim land whence man returns no more.14