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Monday, August 15, 2011

My Days among the Dead Are Past

(Chartres Cathedral: the scaffolding supports in the roof
space between the ceiling and the inside; located about
50 miles south of Paris, the medieval cathedral was built
in the High Gothic style mainly between 1194 and 1260;
this photo was found at

Our community of friends includes people we could never know. We are who we are in great measure because of tradition, the knowledge and understanding that have been transmitted to us, often from the distant past.


My days among the Dead are past;
Around me I behold,
Where’er these casual eyes are cast,
The mighty minds of old;
My never-failing friends are they,
With whom I converse day by day.

With them I take delight in weal,
And seek relief in woe;
And while I understand and feel
How much to them I owe,
My cheeks have often been bedew’d
With tears of thoughtful gratitude.

My thoughts are with the Dead, with them
I live in long-past years,
Their virtues love, their faults condemn,
Partake their hopes and fears,
And from their lessons seek and find
Instruction with an humble mind.

My hopes are with the Dead, anon
My place with them will be,
And I with them shall travel on
Through all futurity;
Yet leaving here a name, I trust,
That will not perish in the dust.

~ Robert Southey 91774-1843), English biographer, historian, and poet of the Romantic school

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