The Mourners Consoled

Dead, is he? What’s that further than a word,
Hollow as is the armour of a ghost
Whose chinks the moon he haunts doth penetrate.
Belief in death is the fell superstition,
That hath appalled mankind and chained it down,
A slave unto the dismal mystery
Which old opinion dreams beneath the tombstone.
Dead is he, and the grave shall wrap him up?
And this you see is he? And all is ended?
Ay this is cold, that was a glance of him
Out of the depth of his immortal self;
This utterance and token of his being
His spirit hath let fall, and now is gone
To fill up nature and complete her being.
The form, that here is fallen, was the engine,
Which drew a mighty stream of spiritual power
Out of the world’s own soul, and made it play
In visible motion, as the lofty tower
Leads down the animating fire of heaven
To the world’s use. That instrument is broken,
And in another sphere the spirit works,
Which did appropriate to human functions
A portion of the ghostly element.—
This then is all your Death.

[Kelsall, 1851]