THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH.
Of summer-breeze—there in mine ear,
Even as I lingered half in fear,
I heard a whisper, cold and clear,
"This is the gate of Death.
"O bitter is it to abide
In weariness alway:
At dawn to sigh for eventide,
At eventide for day.
Thy noon hath fled: thy sun hath shone:
The brightness of thy day is gone:
What need to lag and linger on
Till life be cold and gray?
"O well," it said, "beneath yon pool,
In some still cavern deep,
The fevered brain might slumber cool,
The eyes forget to weep:
Within that goblet's mystic rim
Are draughts of healing, stored for him
Whose heart is sick, whose sight is dim,
Who prayeth but to sleep!"