Life

John Hall Wheelock

Life burns us up like fire,
 And Song goes up in flame:
The radiant body smoulders
 To the ashes whence it came.
Out of things it rises
 With a mouth that laughs and sings,
Backward it fades and falters
 Into the char of things.
Yet soars a voice above it —
 Love is holy and strong;
The best of us forever
 Escapes in Love and Song.