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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

The Majority

By Tracy Robinson (1833–1915)

[Born in Clarendon, Orleans Co., N. Y., 1833. Died, 1915. Song of the Palm, and Other Poems. 1888.]

HOW fare they all, they of the pallid faces,

Beyond our power to beckon their return?

How is it with them, in the silent places?

How shall we learn

Their solemn secret? How can we discover,

By any earnest seeking, the true way

Unto the knowing in what realm they hover?

In what high day,

Or in what sombre shadows of the night,

They are forever hidden from our sight?

We question vainly. Yet it somehow pleases,

When they have spoken the last sad good-bye,

It somehow half the pain of parting eases,

That in the sky,

In the vast solitudes of stars and spaces,

There may be consciousness and life and hope;

And that when we must yield to Death’s embraces,

There may be scope

For the unfolding of the better powers,

So sadly stifled in this life of ours.