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2017 June 23, Friday
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Intimations of Immortality
by Richard H. Dana
First published online on 2006 June 28.
Editor’s Foreword
Any reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated.
SFFH: Article

                         O, listen, man!
A voice within us speaks the startling word,
“Man, thou shalt never die!”   Celestial voices
Hymn it around our souls: according harps,
By angel fingers touch’d when the mild stars
Of morning sang together, sound forth still
The song of our great immortality!
Thick, clustering orbs, and this our fair domain,
The tall, dark mountains, and the deep-toned seas,
Join in this solemn, universal song,
–O,listen, ye, our spirits! drink it in
From all the air! ’Tis in the gentle moonlight;
’Tis floating in day’s setting glories; night.
Wrapp’d in her sable robe, with silent step
Comes to our bed and breathes it in our ears;
Night and the dawn, bright day and thoughtful eve,
All time, all bounds, the limitless expanse,
As one vast, mystic instrument, are touch’d
By an unseen, living Hand, and conscious chords
Quiver with joy in this great jubilee:
–The dying hear it; and as sounds of earth
Grow dull and distant, wake their passing souls
To mingle in this heavenly harmony.

Born in Cambridge in 1787, Mr. Dana later moved to Boston. His “Poems and Prose Writings” were published in 1833.
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