Selections from the American poets
William Cullen Bryant


Written on occasion of the accidental meeting of all the surviving members of a family.
WE are all here!
Father, Mother,
Sister, Brother,
All who hold each other dear.
Each chair is filled—we're all at home:
To-night let no cold stranger come:
It is not often thus around
Our old familiar hearth we're found:
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Bless, then, the meeting and the spot;
For once be every care forgot;
Let gentle Peace assert her power,
And kind Affection rule the hour;
We're all—all here.
We're not all here!
Some are away—the dead ones dear,
Who thronged with us this ancient hearth,
And gave the hour to guiltless mirth.
Fate, with a stern, relentless hand,
Looked in and thinned our little band:
Some like a night-flash passed away,
And some sank, lingering, day by day;
The quiet graveyard—some lie there—
And cruel Ocean has his share—
We're not all here.
We are all here!
Even they—the dead—though dead, so dear;
Fond Memory, to her duty true,
Brings back their faded forms to view.
How life-like, through the mist of years.
Each well-remembered face appears!
We see them as in times long past,
From each to each kind looks are cast;
We hear their words, their smiles behold,
They're round us as they were of old—
We are all here.
We are all here!
Father, Mother,
Sister, Brother,
You that I love with love so dear.
This may not long of us be said;
Soon must we join the gathered dead;
And by the hearth we now sit round,
Some other circle will be found.
Oh! then, that wisdom may we know,
Which yields a life of peace below;
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So, in the world to follow this,
May each repeat, in words of bliss,
We're all—all here!