Afterwards

Mahlon Leonard Fisher

There was a day when death to me meant tears,
 And tearful takings-leave that had to be,
 And awed embarkings on an unshored sea,
And sudden disarrangement of the years.
But now I know that nothing interferes
 With the fixed forces when a tired man dies;
 That death is only answerings and replies,
The chiming of a bell which no one hears,
The casual slanting of a half-spent sun,
 The soft recessional of noise and coil,
 The coveted something time nor age can spoil;
I know it is a fabric finely spun
 Between the stars and dark; to seize and keep,
 Such glad romances as we read in sleep.