DEAD! and the one word fell
Like the heavy toll of a sobbing bell.
Dead! and the silent sorrowful crowd
Sank to its knees and sobbed aloud,
Sank to the earth and with bowed head
Wept for their ruler lying dead.
Dead! and the heart with speechless pain
Cries out for the flickering Hope again;
Sans Life, sans Hope—Oh mystic Death,
Whose strange hand robs the dust of breath!
Dead! and the blood runs cold in awe
In presence of that fatal law.
We see—we cannot understand
The mystery of the Unseen Hand.
We cannot grasp, we only know
That he is gone where all must go,
That he is gone before his day,
And empty lies the house of clay.
How long ago—and yet not long—
He smiled upon the cheering throng.
Beamed thro’ his eyes his kindly heart,
Oh Lamp of Love, whence gone thou art!
Voices that cheered are dumb with grief.
Ah, dastard deed beyond belief!
Pale lips are silent as tongueless bell—
Oh, for the word this grief to tell!
Thoughts like these from souls are wrung,
There is no speech in human tongue,
Nor word, nor sound—oh, mind of mine—
Grief is not earthly but divine.