To Think of Time
To Think of Time
To think of time of all that retrospection,
To think of to-day, and the ages continued henceforward.
Have you guess'd you yourself would not continue?
Have you dreaded these earth-beetles?
fear'd the future would be nothing to you?
Is to-day nothing? is the beginningless past nothing?
If the future is nothing they are just as surely nothing.
To think that the sun rose in the east that men and women
were flexible, real, alive that every
thing was alive,
To think that you and I did not see, feel, think, nor bear our
To think that we are now
here and bear our part.
Not a day passes, not a minute or second without an
Not a day passes, not a minute
or second without a corpse.
The dull nights go over and the dull days also,
The soreness of lying so much in bed goes over,
after long putting off gives the silent and
terrible look for an answer,
The children come hurried and weeping,
and the brothers
and sisters are sent for,
Medicines stand unused on the shelf, (the camphor-smell has
pervaded the rooms,)
The faithful hand of the living does not desert the hand of the
lips press lightly on the forehead of the dying,
The breath ceases and the pulse of the heart ceases,
corpse stretches on the bed and the living look upon it,
It is palpable as the living are palpable.
The living look upon the corpse with their eyesight,
But without eyesight lingers a different living and
curiously on the corpse.
To think the thought of death merged in the thought of
To think of all these wonders of city
and country, and others
taking great interest in them, and we taking no interest
To think how eager we are in building our houses,
To think others shall be just as eager, and we quite
(I see one building the house that serves him a few years, or
seventy or eighty years at most,
I see one
building the house that serves him longer than that.)
Slow-moving and black lines creep over the whole earth
they never cease they are the burial lines,
that was President was buried, and he that is now President
shall surely be buried.
A reminiscence of the vulgar fate,
A frequent sample of the life and death of workmen,
Each after his
Cold dash of waves at the ferry-wharf, posh and ice in the
river, half-frozen mud in the streets,
discouraged sky overhead, the short last daylight of
A hearse and stages, the funeral of an
old Broadway stagedriver,
the cortege mostly drivers.
Steady the trot to the cemetery, duly rattles the death-bell,
The gate is pass'd, the new-dug grave is halted
at, the living
alight, the hearse uncloses,
The coffin is pass'd out, lower'd and settled, the whip is laid
the coffin, the earth is swiftly shovel'd in,
The mound above is flatted with the spades silence,
no one moves or speaks it is done,
He is decently put away is there any thing more?
He was a good fellow, free-mouth'd, quick-temper'd, not
Ready with life or death for a friend,
fond of women, gambled,
ate hearty, drank hearty,
Had known what it was to be flush, grew low-spirited
the last, sicken'd, was help'd by a contribution,
Died, aged forty-one years and that was his
Thumb extended, finger uplifted, apron, cape, gloves, strap,
wet-weather clothes, whip carefully chosen,
spotter, starter, hostler, somebody loafing on you, you
loafing on somebody, headway, man before and