THE PASSING

Alan Sullivan June 1 1911

THE PASSING

Alan Sullivan June 1 1911

THE PASSING

I saw a rich man buried yesterday

And all the breathless street stood whispering.

What time he passed from sunlight to a tomb.

Rank upon rank, a curious populace Computed his possessions, tearless, cold;

Till durance spake with grim insistency,

Drave them reluctant to the counting-house,

The market place, the engine and the forge;

Some to austere pain-ridden hospitals,

Some to the wrinkled river with its ships;

Till the black cortege was a memory

And the dull roar of commerce throbbed again.

But in a quiet hollow of a hill

Lay the lost leader, and his mighty brain

Slept on and on, nor heard, so deep the sleep:

He had embarked, this lone itinerant,

Upon so vast so limitless a tide That time nor tears set any boundary To mark its far immeasurable marge.

Thus when my soul turns in upon itself.

The ending of the last laborious day.

Rings coin, casts balances and reckons up The cash and credit of my treasure house.

May I not be as one who, dumb and blind.

Gropes in the earth with gnarled and crooked hands;

But from the shadow of his own desire

Lift Thou Thy child, nor leave him desolate,

Naked—afraid—and dreadfully alone.

Alan Sullivan