Selections from the American poets
William Cullen Bryant



IF yon bright stars which gem the night
Be each a blissful dwelling sphere,
Where kindred spirits reunite,
Whom death has torn asunder here;
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How sweet it were at once to die,
And leave this blighted orb afar—
Mixed soul with soul, to cleave the sky,
And soar away from star to star.
But oh! how dark, how drear, how lone
Would seem the brightest world of bliss,
If, wandering through each radiant one,
We failed to find the loved of this!
If there no more the ties should twine,
Which death's cold hand alone can sever,
Ah! then these stars in mockery shine,
More hateful as they shine for ever.
It cannot be! each hope and fear
That lights the eye or clouds the brow,
Proclaims there is a happier sphere
Than this bleak world that holds us now!
There is a voice which sorrow hears,
When heaviest weighs life's galling chain;
'Tis heaven that whispers, "Dry thy tears:
The pure in heart shall meet again!"