Saturday, November 10, 2007

I'm so sorry.

My heartfelt condolences go out to the Quad and those close to Ginny.

Death is Nothing at All
by Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918)Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
that we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference in your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without affect,
without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolutely unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you,
for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just around the corner.

All is well.


R said...

Oh Antonia, that is a beautiful poem and a lovely sentiment. This is just so sad...

antonia marat said...

R, I am so glad you liked the poem. I found it for the first time many years ago, and I've brought it with me ever since, reading it every now and then while thinking of a lost one.
Saying that "death is nothing at all" is a great understatement for the ones that are left behind, but who knows what's waiting for us "just around the corner"?

Sylvan said...

This is lovely. I immediately thought of a modern version of this sentiment in Afro Celt Sound System's song "Release". I wonder if Sinead O'Connor drew inspiration from Holland's poem?