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

Mathilde Blind b. 1850

The Dead

THE DEAD abide with us! Though stark and cold

Earth seems to grip them, they are with us still:

They have forged our chains of being for good or ill;

And their invisible hands these hands yet hold.

Our perishable bodies are the mould

In which their strong imperishable will—

Mortality’s deep yearning to fulfil—

Hath grown incorporate through dim time untold.

Vibrations infinite of life in death,

As a star’s travelling light survives its star!

So may we hold our lives, that when we are

The fate of those who then will draw this breath,

They shall not drag us to their judgment-bar,

And curse the heritage which we bequeath.