Inferential

Although I saw before me there the face
Of one whom I had honored among men
The least, and on regarding him again
Would not have had him in another place,
He fitted with an unfamiliar grace
The coffin where I could not see him then
As I had seen him and appraised him when
I deemed him unessential to the race.

For there was more of him than what I saw.
And there was on me more than the old awe
That is the common genius of the dead.
I might as well have heard him: “Never mind;
If some of us were not so far behind,
The rest of us were not so far ahead.”

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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"Inferential" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 14 Jul 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/9982/inferential>.

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