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

John Addington Symonds 1840–93

Lux Est Umbra Dei


NAY, Death, thou art a shadow! Even as light

Is but the shadow of invisible God,

And of that shade the shadow is thin Night,

Veiling the earth whereon our feet have trod;

So art Thou but the shadow of this life,

Itself the pale and unsubstantial shade

Of living God, fulfill’d by love and strife

Throughout the universe Himself hath made:

And as frail Night, following the flight of earth,

Obscures the world we breathe in, for a while,

So Thou, the reflex of our mortal birth,

Veilest the life wherein we weep and smile:

But when both earth and life are whirl’d away,

What shade can shroud us from God’s deathless day?