Alice Deas Cunningham
May 11, 1922 January 15, 2001
There Is No Death
There is no death! The stars go down, to rise upon some other shore.
And bright in heavens jeweled crown, they shine forevermore.
There is no death! The forest leaves convert to life the viewless air. The rocks disorganize to feed the hungry moss they bear.
There is no death! The dust we tread shall change beneath the summer showers, to golden grain, or mellowed fruit, or rainbow
There is no death! The leaves may fall, and flowers may fade and pass away—
They only wait through wintry hours for the warm, sweet breath of May.
There is no death! The choicest gifts that heaven has kindly lent to earth are ever first to seek again the country of their
And all things that for growth or joy are worthy of our love or care.
Whose loss has left us desolate, are safely garnered there.
Though life becomes a desert waste, we know that its fairest, sweetest flowers, transplant into paradise, adorn immortal bowers.
The voice of birdlike melody that we have missed and mourned so long now mingles with the angel choir in everlasting song.
There is no death! Although we grieve when beautiful, familiar forms that we have learned to love are torn from our embracing
Although with bowed and breaking heart, with sable garb and silent tread,
We bear their senseless dust to rest, and say that they are "dead."
They are not dead! They have but passed beyond the mists that blind us here.
Into a new and larger life of that serener sphere.
They have but dropped their robe of clay to put their shining raiment on.
They have not wandered far away; they are not lost nor gone.
Though disenthralled and glorified, they still are here and love us yet.
The dear ones they have left behind, they never can forget.
And sometimes, when our hearts grow faint amid temptations fierce and deep,
Or when the wildly raging waves of grief or passion sweep.
We feel upon our fevered brow their gentle touch, their breath of balm.
Their arms enfold us, and our hearts grow comforted and calm.
And ever near us, though unseen, the dear immortal spirits tread.
For all the boundless universe is Life, There are no dead.