In Morte Immutabilitas (A Reminiscence of Odyssey Xi)

OVER the westward seas, on the misty Kimmerian shore-land,
Where in the asphodel meadow Persephone’s myriads wander,
Many a fleeting form of belovèd Achaian companions,
Many a statelier shade of the dim traditional foretime,
Greeted the exile Odysseus, — and Heracles’ eidolon with them,
Less than a ghost; for the hero himself at banquet forever
Sits with his bride, young Hebe, among the Olympic immortals !
Memory, gray old warder, throw open thy portal in welcome
Wide to the dead, our dead ! They loved us well in the sunshine;
Death can but make us securer from change, and loss, and oblivion.
Not the departed we dread, but only the wraith of the living !
Bright is the sparkle of love in their eyes, that shine upon others !
Nectar is theirs, and ambrosia; they heed not the loss of our kisses.
See thou admit not a ghost that casts on the threshold a shadow!
William Cranston Lawton.