O Life !  O Death !  How good ye are and fair,1
As, luminous in the glory of God’s love,2
Ye stand revealed His Angels from above !3
Angels we’ve entertained, though unaware,—4
The janitors that wait our souls to bear5
Through either gate of Being ; not to rove6
Unguided, but in course prescribed to move,7
Fixed as the planets’ paths that roll through air.8
In Christ’s “ dear might,” your Lord and ours, now bold9
With reverent courage, lo ! the veil we raise10
Erst wrapped around you, and with wondering gaze11
Your solemn beauty undismayed behold,12
No more dread mysteries, our souls to scare,13
Making Life Vanity and Death Despair.14