The Awakening (Hello, Boys!)

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I said, 'I will place my heart, my heart all broken,
   Beside the world's torn heart, that it may know
The comradeship of sorrow that is not spoken,
   But is carried on wings of all the winds that blow.
I will go homeless into homes of grieving,
   And find my own grief easier to be borne.'
So over menacing seas I went, believing
   Where all was mourning, I would cease to mourn.

And now I am here, close to the great world-sorrow,
   Here where each heart some mighty grief has known;
But from each suffering soul I seem to borrow
   A poignant pain that but augments my own.
The earth is like one vast tempestuous ocean,
   Where struggling beings fight for light and breath:
I feel their anguish, feel each keen emotion -
   Yet through it all, I KNOW THERE IS NO DEATH.

And as we toss on billows red with slaughter,
   Unto each tortured, anguished soul I cry,
'There are green lands beyond this raging water,
   We shall come into harbour by and by.
Our dead dwell near, life is a thing eternal:
   And I have talked with One from that fair shore.
We are but passing through a dream infernal;
   We shall awake, we shall be glad once more.'

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