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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;
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,
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;
And Heaven has all the more.
William C. Richards.
Tread lightly, she is near,
Under the snow;
The daisies grow.
All her bright golden hair
Tarnished with rust,
Fallen to dust.
Lily-like, white as snow,
She hardly knew
Sweetly she grew.
Coffin-board, heavy stone,
Lie on her breast;
She is at rest.
Peace, peace; she cannot hear
Lyre or sonnet;
Heap earth upon it.
THE OLD SEXTON
Nigh to a grave that was newly made,
"I gather them in; for man and boy,
Mother and daughter, father and son,
"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."
ONLY A YEAR
One year ago,— a ringing voice,
A clear blue eye,
Too fair to die.
Only a year,— no voice, no smile,
No glance of eye,
Fair but to die!
One year ago,— what loves, what schemes
Far into life!
What generous strife!
The silent picture on the wall,
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;
Says he is dead.
No pause or hush of merry birds
That sing above,
The form we love.
Where hast thou been this year, beloved?
What hast thou seen,—
Where hast thou been?
The veil! the veil! so thin, so strong!
'Twixt us and thee;
That we may see?
Not dead, not sleeping, not even gone,
But present still,
Of God's sweet will.
Lord of the living and the dead,
Our Savior dear!
This sad, sad year.
Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Here in this leafy place,
Quiet he lies,
Turned to the skies;
Carry his body hence,—
Kings climb to eminence
So this man's eye is dim ; —
Throw the earth over him.
What was the white you touched,
There at his side?
Tight ere he died;
Message or wish, may be : —
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,
Tries to be bright,
Ah, if beside the dead
Slumbered the pain!
Slept with the slain!
Ye banks, and braes, and streams around
The castle o' Montgomery,
Your waters never drumlie!
And there the langest tarry;
O' my sweet Highland Mary.
How sweetly bloomed the gay green birk,
How rich the hawthorn's blossom,
I clasped her to my bosom!
Flew o'er me and my dearie;
Was my sweet Highland Mary.
Wi' mony a vow, and locked embrace,
Our parting was fu' tender;
We tore oursels asunder;
That nipt my flower sae early!