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Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. (1838–1915). Yale Book of American Verse. 1912.

Edmund Clarence Stedman 1833–1908

Edmund Clarence Stedman

180 The Undiscovered Country

COULD we but know

The land that ends our dark, uncertain travel,

Where lie those happier hills and meadows low,—

Ah, if beyond the spirit’s inmost cavil,

Aught of that country could we surely know,

Who would not go?

Might we but hear

The hovering angels’ high imagined chorus,

Or catch, betimes, with wakeful eyes and clear,

One radiant vista of the realm before us,—

With one rapt moment given to see and hear,

Ah, who would fear?

Were we quite sure

To find the peerless friend who left us lonely,

Or there, by some celestial stream as pure,

To gaze in eyes that here were lovelit only,—

This weary mortal coil, were we quite sure,

Who would endure?