Wadsworth Longfellow, Henry - Morituri Salutamus
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – from The Poems of Longfellow [printed about 1875]
from Morituri Salutamus
Ah me! The fifty years since last we met,
Seem to me fifty folios bound and set
By Time, the great transcriber, on his shelves,
Wherein are written the histories of ourselves
What tragedies, what comedies are there
What joy and grief, what rapture and despair,
What chronicles of triumph and defeat,
Of struggle, and temptation, and retreat.
What records of regrets and doubts and fears.
What pages blotted, blistered with our tears
What lovely landscapes on the margin shine
What sweet angelic faces, what divine
And holy images of love and trust
Undimmed by age, unsoiled by damp or dust.
Whose hand shall dare to open and explore
These volumes, closed and clasped for evermore?
Not mine. With reverential feet I pass;
I hear a voice that cries 'Alas, alas
Whatever hath been written shall remain
Nor be erased nor written o'er again
The unwritten only still belongs to thee
Take heed and ponder well what that shalt be