Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  From “A Threnody: In Memory of Albert Darasz”

Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

William James Linton 1812–97

From “A Threnody: In Memory of Albert Darasz”


O BLESSED Dead! beyond all earthly pains:

Beyond the calculation of low needs;

Thy growth no longer chok’d by earthly weeds;

Thy spirit clear’d from care’s corrosive chains.

O blessed Dead! O blessed Life-in-death,

Transcending all life’s poor decease of breath!

Thou walkest not upon some desolate moor

In the storm-wildering midnight, when thine own,

Thy trusted friend, hath lagg’d and left thee lone.

He knows not poverty who, being poor,

Hath still one friend. But he who fain had kept

The comrade whom his zeal hath overstept.

Thou sufferest not the friendly cavilling

Impugning motive; nor that worse than spear

Of foeman,—biting doubt of one most dear

Laid in thy deepest heart, a barbed sting

Never to be withdrawn. For we were friends:

Alas! and neither to the other bends.

Thou hast escap’d continual falling off

Of old companions; and that aching void

Of the proud heart which has been over-buoy’d

With friendship’s idle breath; and now the scoff

Of failure even as idly passeth by

Thy poor remains:—Thou soaring through the sky.

Knowing no more that malady of hope—

The sickness of deferral, thou canst look

Thorough the heavens and, healthily patient, brook

Delay,—defeat. For in thy vision’s scope

Most distant cometh. We might see it too,

But dizzying faintness overveils our view.

And when disaster flings us in the dust,

Or when we wearily drop on the highway-side,

Or when in prison’d, exil’d depths the pride

Of suffering bows its head, as oft it must,

We cannot, looking on thy wasted corse,

Perceive the future. Lend us of thy force!