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Our voice, which thrilled you so, will let You sleep; our tears are only wet; What do we here, my heart and I?

So tired, so tired, my heart and I!

It was not thus in that old time

When Ralph sat with me 'neath the lime To watch the sun set from the sky:

"Dear Love, you 're looking tired," he said;

I, smiling at him, shook my head;
'T is now we 're tired, my heart and I.

So tired, so tired, my heart and I!

Though now none takes me on his arm

To fold me close and kiss me warm, Till each quick breath ends in a sigh

Of happy languor. Now, alone

We lean upon his graveyard stone, Uncheered, unkissed, my heart and I.

Tired out we are, my heart and I.

Suppose the world brought diadems

To tempt us, crusted with loose gems Of powers and pleasures? Let it try.

We scarcely care to look at even

A pretty child, or God's blue heaven, We feel so tired, my heart and I.

Yet, who complains? My heart and I?

In this abundant earth no doubt

Is little room for things worn out; Disdain them, break them, throw them by;

And if before the days grew rough,

We once were loved, then — well enough I think we've fared, my heart and I.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning.


When thou, in all thy loveliness,

Sweet Rosalie, wert mine,
Of Earth's one more, of Heaven's one less,

I counted things divine.

But since the lilies o'er thy breast

Out of the sweetness spring, Of love's delight I miss the rest

And keep alone the sting.

Till now I reckon things divine

Not as I did before;
Earth's share has dwindled down to mine,

And Heaven has all the more.

William C. Richards.


Tread lightly, she is near,

Under the snow;
Speak gently, she can hear

The daisies grow.

All her bright golden hair

Tarnished with rust,
She that was young and fair

Fallen to dust.

Lily-like, white as snow,

She hardly knew
She was a woman, so

Sweetly she grew.

Coffin-board, heavy stone,

Lie on her breast;
I vex my heart alone,

She is at rest.

Peace, peace; she cannot hear

Lyre or sonnet;
All my life's buried here —

Heap earth upon it.

Oscar Wilde.


Nigh to a grave that was newly made,
Leaned a sexton old on his earth-worn spade;
His work was done, and he paused to wait
The funeral train at the open gate.
A relic of by-gone days was he,
And his locks were as white as the foamy sea;
And these words came from his lips so thin:
"I gather them in — I gather them in —
Gather—gather—gather them in.

"I gather them in; for man and boy,
Year after year of grief and joy,
I've builded the houses that lie around
In every nook of this burial ground.

Mother and daughter, father and son,
Come to my solitude one by one;
But come they stranger, or come they kin,
I gather them in — I gather them in.

"Many are with me, yet I'm alone;

I'm King of the Dead, and I make my throne

On a monument slab of marble cold —

My sceptre of rule is the spade I hold.

Come they from cottage, or come they from hall,

Mankind are my subjects, all, all, all!

May they loiter in pleasure, or toilfully spin,

I gather them in —• I gather them in.

"I gather them in, and their final rest

Is here, down here, in the earth's dark breast!"

And the sexton ceased as the funeral-train

Wound mutely over that solemn plain;

And I said to myself: When time is told,

A mightier voice than that sexton's old

Will be heard o'er the last trump's dreadful din:

"I gather them in—I gather them in —

Gather — gather — gather them in."

Park Benjamin.


One year ago,— a ringing voice,

A clear blue eye,
And clustering curls of sunny hair,

Too fair to die.

Only a year,— no voice, no smile,

No glance of eye,
No clustering curls of golden hair,

Fair but to die!

One year ago,— what loves, what schemes

Far into life!
What joyous hopes, what high resolves,

What generous strife!

The silent picture on the wall,

The burial-stone
Of all that beauty, life, and joy,

Remain alone!

One year,— one year,— one little year,

And so much gone! And yet the even flow of life

Moves calmly on.

The grave grows green, the flowers bloom fair

Above that head;
No sorrowing tint of leaf or spray

Says he is dead.

No pause or hush of merry birds

That sing above,
Tells us how coldly sleeps below

The form we love.

Where hast thou been this year, beloved?

What hast thou seen,—
What visions fair, what glorious life,

Where hast thou been?

The veil! the veil! so thin, so strong!

'Twixt us and thee;
The mystic veil! when shall it fall,

That we may see?

Not dead, not sleeping, not even gone,

But present still,
And waiting for the coming hour

Of God's sweet will.

Lord of the living and the dead,

Our Savior dear!
We lay in silence at thy feet

This sad, sad year.

Harriet Beecher Stowe.


Here in this leafy place,

Quiet he lies,
Cold, with his sightless face

Turned to the skies;
'T is but another dead; —
All you can say is said.

Carry his body hence,—
Kings must have slaves;

Kings climb to eminence
Over men's graves.

So this man's eye is dim ; —

Throw the earth over him.

What was the white you touched,

There at his side?
Paper his hand had clutched

Tight ere he died;

Message or wish, may be : —
Smooth out the folds and see.

Hardly the worst of us

Here could have smiled! — Only the tremulous

Words of a child:— Prattle, that had for stops Just a few ruddy drops.

Look. She is sad to miss,

Morning and night,
His — her dead father's — kiss,

Tries to be bright,
Good to mamma, and sweet.
That is all. "Marguerite."

Ah, if beside the dead

Slumbered the pain!
Ah, if the hearts that bled

Slept with the slain!
If the grief died ! — But no: —
Death will not have it so>

Austin Dobson.


Ye banks, and braes, and streams around

The castle o' Montgomery,
Green be your woods, and fair your flowers,

Your waters never drumlie!
There simmer first unfauld her robes,

And there the langest tarry;
For there I took the last fareweel

O' my sweet Highland Mary.

How sweetly bloomed the gay green birk,

How rich the hawthorn's blossom,
As underneath their fragrant shade

I clasped her to my bosom!
The golden hours, on angel wings,

Flew o'er me and my dearie;
For dear to me as light and life

Was my sweet Highland Mary.

Wi' mony a vow, and locked embrace,

Our parting was fu' tender;
And, pledging aft to meet again,

We tore oursels asunder;
But oh! fell death's untimely frost,

That nipt my flower sae early!

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