MISSING -- BELIEVED KILLED: ON READING A MOTHER'S LETTER - Sydney Smith Poems

 
 

Poems » sydney smith » missing believed killed on reading a mother s letter

MISSING -- BELIEVED KILLED: ON READING A MOTHER'S LETTER

'Twere heaven enough to fill my heart
    If only one would stay,
Just one of all the million joys
    God gives to take away.

If I could keep one golden dawn,
    The splendour of one star,
One silver glint of yon bird's wing
    That flashes from afar;

If I could keep the least of things
    That make me catch my breath
To gasp with wonder at God's world
    And hold it back from death,

It were enough; but death forbids.
    The sunset flames to fade,
The velvet petals of this rose
    Fall withered -- brown -- decayed.

She only asked to keep one thing,
    The joy light in his eyes:
God has not even let her know
    Where his dead body lies.

O grave, where is Thy victory?
    O death, where is Thy sting?
Thy victory is ev'rywhere,
    Thy sting's in ev'rything.