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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

To David Friedrich Strauss

By Epes Sargent (1813–1880)

[From Harper’s Cyclopædia of British and American Poetry. Edited by Epes Sargent. 1882.]

THOU sayest, my friend, ’twould strike thee with dismay

To be assured that life would not end here;

Since utter death is less a thing to fear

In thy esteem than life in clearer day:

For life, continuous life, thou wouldst not pray;

And even reunion with the loved and near

Is not to thee a prospect that could cheer,

Or shed a glory on thy earthward way.

O power of thought perverse and morbid mood,

Conspiring thus to numb and blind the heart!

The universe gives back what we impart,—

As we elect, gives poison or pure food:

Mock-silence—the soul’s whisper,—and Despair

Becomes to man than Hope itself more fair!