Christianity Oasis has provided you with this inspirational writing titled Thanatopsis from our Sojourn With Luz Leigh collection. We hope these short stories bring you understanding and peace within.


Welcome to Christianity Oasis. This is Thanatopsis from our Sojourn With Luz Leigh Collection. We hope you enjoy this enlightening reading and it helps you on your own be-YOU-tiful Christian walk.

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Sojourn With Luz Leigh


by William Cullen Bryant

So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, which moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.

To those of us who were in English IV class together at the local high school (1954-55), this poem was sheer terror. Not by the message, which most of us had no clue as to the meaning, but the fact we had to memorize the section printed above. I loved poetry and was able to master it, but I look back and realize some of you in that class really had to struggle with this. How many of us can still recite these nine lines (which by the way are the last of the poem)?

During the last ten days of her earthly life, I was privileged to spend many hours in the home of that dear lady who was our senior English teacher. Toward the end, she was unable to respond to us verbally, but I just have to believe she was aware of our presence. One afternoon while her daughter and the caregiver were resting, I sat by her bedside, held her little hand and read "Thanatopsis" to her, the entire poem. I knew she loved that poem and as my "foster" mother over the years ... she had taught me to love it as well. When we studied it in senior English, I did not appreciate the meaning of it. Now I do. As I was reading the above quoted portion, I felt a small squeeze from her hand although when I looked up from the book to her face, her eyes were closed as though she were asleep. But, I do believe she heard the words that I was reading to her ... words that she tried so hard to live by. When I finished reading, I bent over, kissed her gently on the forehead and said to her, "Goodbye, Granny U. I can let you go now." Then I sat down in a chair that was drawn as close to her bed as possible, and cried like a baby because although I had spoken those words, in my heart I did not want to release her from this earth to her heavenly home. I was selfish for I had given up my real mother years ago ... just wasn't ready to say goodbye to another one. Two days later she took flight early one morning to meet her Lord.

This letter is being sent to some of you who struggled to memorize this portion of that poem. Read it now as a senior, not in high school, but in our senior years of life. You will gain a new meaning of it.

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