THE dead return. I know they do;
The glad smile may have passed from view,
The ringing voice that cheered us so
In that remembered long ago
Be stilled, and yet in sweeter ways
It speaks to us throughout our days.
The kindly father comes again
To guide us through the haunts of men,
And always near, their sons to greet
Are lingering the mothers sweet.
About us wheresoe’er we tread
Hover the spirits of our dead;
We cannot see them as we could
In bygone days, when near they stood
And shared the joys and griefs that came,
But they are with us just the same.
They see us as we plod along,
And proudly smile when we are strong,
And sigh and grieve the selfsame way
When thoughtlessly we go astray.
I sometimes think it hurts the dead
When into sin and shame we’re led,
And that they feel a thrill divine
When we’ve accomplished something fine.
And sometimes thoughts that come at night
Seem more like messages that might
Have whispered been by one we love,
Whose spirit has been called above.
So wise the counsel, it must be
That all we are the dead can see.
The dead return. They come to share
Our laughter and our bit of care;
They glory, as they used to do,
When we are splendid men and true,
In all the joy that we have won,
And they are proud of what we’ve done.
They suffer when we suffer woe;
All things about us here they know.
And though we never see them here
Their spirits hover very near.