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“Behold, ye stranger passing by,

As you are now, so once was I.

As I am now you soon will be:

Prepare for death and follow me.”


The sun shines gently on the phrase

As if to soften harsher days.

The wind—how sweetly!—tiptoes past

Lest he disturb the sleepers’ rest.


Even the birds have stilled their song,

Though nearby their shrill notes prolong;

Yet in the graveyard all’s at peace:

Here the bustle and hurry cease.


I walk between the silent rows,

Where raindrops fall and lichen grows,

Which, speechless, grim forewarning give

To those who, following, still live.


This plot holds, hidden, what was once

A life as full as mine. And thence

I follow, as the headstone says,

So teaching me to count my days.


Potent reminders of human pain,

These fields where ended life is lain!

Yet dull, for some, that pain has grown:

Faded, as that old toppled stone.


A brother lies there, in the shade.

Here a daughter, by parents laid.

Here, “Our Mother” is newly framed;

Or here an infant, still unnamed.


This date, effaced by rolling years;

This earth still soft with last night’s tears.

New dates, in aching clarity;

Old names, passed out of memory.


These rows of headstones mutely cry:

“As you are now, so once was I”!

A sober witness all may see:

“Prepare for death and follow me.”


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2 minutes ago, Leah_Donavan said:

Thanks. I'd like to get a 2021 writer's guide from a library and *Sinks to a whisper* try publishing some???

If God wants you to do that, then go for it! You really do have potential.

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