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Poem by Ina Donna Coolbrith


J. F. B. DIED APRIL 29, 1883.

FORTH from this low estate,
Fetterless now of fate,
Pass, spirit blest!
Out of the cark and care,
Out of the griefs that were,
Into thy rest.

Done with the dreary round
Daily thy soul that bound
From its true aim, Ч
Little can matter now
Fame's wreath upon the brow,
Earth-praise or blame.

God! is there of despair
Keener than this to bear,
Under the sun:
Tasked, like a slave in chains,
While our true work remains
Waiting, undone?

Feeling, as life sweeps by,
All the pure majesty

Of that we miss?
Fettered and tortured so,
Christ, pity all who know
Sorrow like this!

Not here was given his wage:
Of his best heritage
Barred and denied.
Man of the silver tongue,
Poet of songs unsung,
Dreamer, clear-eyed;

Slave not to gain or greed;
Bound by no narrow creed
By priestcraft taught:
In God's fair universe
Seeing nor hate, nor curse
Of Him that wrought;

Trusting the love divine, Ч
Careless of church or shrine,
Blessing or ban;
His prayer the common good,
His faith the brotherhood
Of man with man.

And if unto his eyes
Veiled were the mysteries
Of the far shore,
Who of us all may be
Wiser, in truth, than he?
Who knoweth more?

Never the kindly wit
Lighter, because of it,
Sad hearts shall make;
No more the earnest thought,
With its deep lesson fraught,
Souls shall awake.

Eloquent eye and lip,
Peerless companionship,
Passed from the earth.
Friend of the many years,
Well for thee fall my tears,
Knowing thy worth.

Flowers on the gentle breast,
Lay the frail form to rest
Under the sod.
Passed from earth's low estate,
Fetterless now of fate,
Leave him with God.

Ina Donna Coolbrith

Ina Donna Coolbrith's other poems:
  1. The Mariposa Lily
  2. Two
  3. In Ended Days, a Child, I Trod Thy Sands
  4. Memorial Poem
  5. The Day of Our Lord

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