BEYOND POEM by Adelaide Anne Procter
Poetry from Legends and Lyrics Second Series.
ADELAIDE ANNE PROCTER VERSE: BEYOND POEM
We must not doubt, or fear, or dread, that love for life is only given,
And that the calm and sainted dead will meet estranged and cold in heaven:-
Oh, Love were poor and vain indeed, based on so harsh and stern a creed.
True that this earth must pass away, with all the starry worlds of light,
With all the glory of the day, and calmer tenderness of night;
For, in that radiant home can shine alone the immortal and divine.
Earth’s lower things—her pride, her fame, her science, learning, wealth and power—
Slow growths that through long ages came, or fruits of some convulsive hour,
Whose very memory must decay—Heaven is too pure for such as they.
They are complete: their work is done. So let them sleep in endless rest.
Love’s life is only here begun, nor is, nor can be, fully blest;
It has no room to spread its wings, amid this crowd of meaner things.
Just for the very shadow thrown upon its sweetness here below,
The cross that it must bear alone, and bloody baptism of woe,
Crowned and completed through its pain, we know that it shall rise again.
So if its flame burn pure and bright, here, where our air is dark and dense,
And nothing in this world of night lives with a living so intense;
When it shall reach its home at length—how bright its light! how strong its strength!
And while the vain weak loves of earth (for such base counterfeits abound)
Shall perish with what gave them birth—their graves are green and fresh around,
No funeral song shall need to rise, for the true Love that never dies.
If in my heart I now could fear that, risen again, we should not know
What was our Life of Life when here—the hearts we loved so much below;
I would arise this very day, and cast so poor a thing away.
But Love is no such soulless clod: living, perfected it shall rise
Transfigured in the light of God, and giving glory to the skies:
And that which makes this life so sweet, shall render Heaven’s joy complete.