The Other World

The Other World The Other World by Harriet Beecher Stowe is an ethereal musing of how she imagines existence beyond our earth life to be.

As well a being a beautiful poem, it inspires us to reflect on our own thoughts about what may lie ahead of and beyond us.

Although she was most famous for her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin and her abolitionist work, Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) also wrote many lovely poems. Somehow she managed to find time to have published 30 books, several short stories and many poems amidst raising seven children and managing a household.

Harriet Elisabeth Beecher was born in Litchfield, Connecticut to Protestant preacher and a mother Roxanna, who died when Harriet was only five years old. Interestingly, her mother was always involved in improving herself (personal development), something Harriet continued to do, as well, throughout her whole life.

Luckily for Harriet (and the rest of us), she married a supportive husband, Calvin Stowe, who encouraged her writing and a career as an author. In a letter he wrote to her in 1840 he said, "My dear, you must be a literary woman. It is so written in the book of fate... Make all your calculations accordingly."

The Stowes were also fortunate to be neighbors to Samuel Clemens, better known as 'Mark Twain', who lived across the street from them at Forest Street in Hartford, Connecticut. 

As it happens, Clemens wrote his most famous books including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn while he lived there. The two families were quite friendly and spent much time together. On a personal note, I was fortunate enough to visit both Clemens' and Harriett Beecher Stowe's historic homes in Hartford Connecticut.

The Other World

It lies around us like a cloud,
A world we do not see;
Yet the same closing of an eye
May bring us there to be.

Its gentle breezes fan our cheek;
Amid our worldly cares,
Its gentle voices whisper love,
And mingle with our prayers.

Sweet hearts around us throb and beat,
Sweet helping hands are stirred,
And palpitates the veil between
With breathings almost heard.

The silence, awful, sweet, and calm,
They have no power to break;
For mortal words are not for them
To utter or partake.

So thin, so soft, so sweet, they glide,
So near to press they seem,
They lull us gently to our rest,
They melt into our dream.

And in the hush of rest they bring
'Tis easy now to see
How lovely and how sweet a pass
The hour of death may be; --

To close the eye, and close the ear,
Wrapped in a trance of bliss,
And, gently drawn in loving arms,
To swoon to that -- from this, --

Scarce knowing if we wake or sleep,
Scarce asking where we are,
To feel all evil sink away,
All sorrow and all care.

Sweet souls around us! watch us still;
Press nearer to our side;
Into our thoughts, into our prayers,
With gentle helpings glide.

Let death between us be as naught,
A dried and vanished stream;
Your joy be the reality,
Our suffering like the dream.

The Arts and Personal Development
The Wonder of Poetry

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