The sick man said: 'I pray I shall not die
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.

by Charles Hanson Towne

Other poems of CHARLES HANSON TOWNE (106)

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