Oh what is that country And where can it be, Not mine own country, But dearer far to me? Yet mine own country, If I one day may see Its spices and cedars, Its gold and ivory.
As I lie dreaming It rises, that land: There rises before me Its green golden strand, With its bowing cedars And its shining sand; It sparkles and flashes Like a shaken brand.
Do angels lean nearer While I lie and long? I see their soft plumage And catch their windy song, Like the rise of a high tide Sweeping full and strong; I mark the outskirts Of their reverend throng.
Oh what is a king here, Or what is a boor? Here all starve together, All dwarfed and poor; Here Death's hand knocketh At door after door, He thins the dancers From the festal floor.
Oh what is a handmaid, Or what is a queen? All must lie down together Where the turf is green, The foulest face hidden, The fairest not seen; Gone as if never, They had breathed or been.
Gone from sweet sunshine Underneath the sod, Turned from warm flesh and blood To senseless clod, Gone as if never They had toiled or trod, Gone out of sight of all Except our God.
Shut into silence From the accustomed song, Shut into solitude From all earth's throng, Run down tho' swift of foot, Thrust down tho' strong; Life made an end of Seemed it short or long.
Life made an end of, Life but just begun, Life finished yesterday, Its last sand run; Life new-born with the morrow, Fresh as the sun: While done is done for ever; Undone, undone.
And if that life is life, This is but a breath, The passage of a dream And the shadow of death; But a vain shadow If one considereth; Vanity of vanities, As the Preacher saith.