When We Are Dead

Richard Hovey

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WHEN we are dead I firmly do believe
We shall slip back into the primal sea
Of the universal life, that there shall be
No such false joys as on this earth deceive
--Nay, nor no truer ones--nor cause to grieve
Nor terror nor despite nor mockery
Nor love, life's strongest bitterest mystery
And while we still are struggling in the strife
Surely it is a gracious boon though small
That one brief sweet real joy at least there is,
To be about to die and know that all
The anguish and the agony of life
Will not last longer than a lover's kiss.

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