It seemeth such a little way to me
Across to that strange country, the Beyond,
And yet not strange, for it has grown to be
The home of those of whom I am so fond ;
They make it seem familiar and most dear,
As journeying friends bring distant countries near.

So close it lies that, when my sight is clear,
I think I see the gleaming strand ;
I know, I feel those who've gone from here
Come near enough to touch my hand ;
I often think, but for our veiled eyes,
We should find heaven right 'round about us lies.

I cannot make it seem a day to dread
When from this dear earth I shall journey out
To that still dearer country of the dead,
And join the lost ones so long dreamed about.
I love this world; yet shall I love to go
And meet the friends who wait for me, I know.

And so for me there is no sting to death,
And so the grave has lost its victory ;
It is but crossing, with abated breath,
And white, set face, a little strip of sea,
To find the loved ones waiting on the shore,
More beautiful, more precious than before.                   --Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

The North Carolinian [Elizabeth City, NC] 31 Aug. 1887: 1.

Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.

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