The sick man said: 'I pray I shall not die
by Charles Hanson Towne
Before this tumult which now rocks the earth
Shall cease. I dread far journeyings to God
Ere I have heard the final shots of war,
And learned the outcome of this holocaust.'
Yet one night, while the guns still roared and flashed,
His spirit left his body; left the earth
Which he had loved in sad, disastrous days,
And sped to heav'n amid the glittering stars
And the white splendor of the quiet moon.
One instant--and a hundred years rushed by!
And he, a new immortal, found his way
Among the great celestial hills of God.
Then suddenly one memory of earth
Flashed like a meteor's flame across his mind.
One instant--and another hundred years!
And even the dream of that poor little place
Which he had known was lost in greater spheres
Through which he whirled; and old remembrances
Were but as flecks of dust blown down the night;
And nothing mattered, save that suns and moons
Swung in the ether for unnumbered worlds
High above the pebble of the earth.