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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Sarah Chauncey Woolsey (Susan Coolidge) (1835–1905)

A Greeting

O DEAR and friendly Death!

End of my road, however long it be,

Waiting with hospitable hand stretched out,

And full of gifts for me!

Why do we call thee foe,

Clouding with darksome mists thy face divine?

Life, she was sweet, but poor her largess seems

When matched with thine.

Thy amaranthine blooms

Are not less lovely than her rose of joy;

And the rare, subtle perfumes which they breathe

Never the senses cloy.

Thou holdest in thy store

Full satisfaction of all doubt, reply

To question, and the golden clue to dreams

Which idly passed us by;

Darkness to tired eyes

Perplexed with vision, blinded with long day,

Quiet to busy hands glad to fold up

And lay their work away;

A balm for anguish past,

Rest to the long unrest which smiles did hide,

The recognitions thirsted for in vain

And still by life denied;

A nearness all unknown

While in these stifling, prisoning bodies pent,

Unto thy soul and mine, Beloved, made one

At last, in full content.

Thou bringest me mine own:

The garnered flowers which felt thy sickle keen,

And the full vision of that face divine

Which I have loved unseen.

O dear and friendly Death!

End of my road, however long it be,

Nearing me day by day,—I still can smile

Whene’er I think of thee.