In Memoriam

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Voltairine de Cleyre

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(To Dyer D. Lum, my friend and teacher, who died April 6, 1883.)

Great silent heart! These barren drops of grief
Are not for you, attained unto your rest;
This sterile salt upon the withered leaf
Of love, is mine—mine the dark burial guest.
Far, far within that deep, untroubled sea
We watched together, walking on the sands.
Your soul has melted,—painless, silent, free;
Mine the wrung heart, mine the clasped, useless hands.

Into the whirl of life, where none remember,

I bear your image, ever unforgot;
The "Whip-poor-will," still "wailing in December,"
Cries the same cry—cries, cries, and ceases not
The future years with all their waves of faces
Roll shoreward singing the great undertone;
Yours is not there;—in the old, well-loved places
I look, and pass, and watch the sea alone.
Alone along the gleaming, white sea-shore,
The sea-spume spraying thick around my head,
Through all the beat of waves and winds that roar,
I go, remembering that you are dead.
That you are dead, and nowhere is there one
Like unto you;—and nowhere Love leaps Death ;—
And nowhere may the broken race be run;—
Nowhere unsealed the seal that none gainsaith.
Yet in my ear that deep, sweet undertone
Grows deeper, sweeter, solemner to me,—
Dreaming your dreams, watching the light that shone
So whitely to you, yonder, on the sea.
Your voice is there, there in the great life-sound—
Your eyes are there, out there, within the light;
Your heart, within the pulsing Race-heart drowned,
Beats in the immortality of Right.
O Life, I love you for the love of him
Who showed me all your glory and your pain I
"Unto Nirvana"—so the deep tones sing—
And there—and there—we—shall—be—one—again.

Greensburg, Pa., April 9th, 1893.