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One by one the pale stars faded, and at length the morning broke; But not one of all the sleepers on that field of death awoke.,

Slowly passed the golden hours of that long bright summer day, And upon that field of carnage still the dead unburied lay:

Lay there stark and cold, but pleading with a dumb, unceasing prayer,
For a little dust to hide them from the staring sun and air.

But the foemen held possession of that hard-won battle-plain,
In unholy wrath denying even burial to our slain.

Once again the night dropped round them-night so holy and so calm That the moonbeams hushed the spirit, like the sound of prayer or psalm.

On a couch of trampled grasses, just apart from all the rest,
Lay a fair young boy, with small hands meekly folded on his breast
Death had touched him very gently, and he lay as if in sleep-
Even his mother scarce had shuddered at that slumber calm and deep;
For a smile of wondrous sweetness lent a radiance to the face,
And the hand of cunning sculptor could have added naught of grace

To the marble limbs so perfect in their passionless repose,
Robbed of all save matchless purity by hard, unpitying foes.

And the broken drum beside him all his life's short story told:
How he did his duty bravely till the death-tide o'er him rolled.

Midnight came with ebon garments and a diadem of stars,
While right upward in the zenith hung the fiery planet Mars.

Hark! a sound of stealthy footsteps and of voices whispering low-
Was it nothing but the young leaves, or the brooklet's murmuring


Clinging closely to each other, striving never to look round.
As they passed with silent shudder the pale corses on the ground,

Came two little maidens-sisters-with a light and hasty tread,
And a look upon their faces half of sorrow, half of dread.

And they did not pause nor falter till, with throbbing hearts, they stood

Where the Drummer-boy was lying in that partial solitude.

They had brought some simple garments from their wardrobe's scanty


And two heavy iron shovels in their slender hands they bore.

Then they quickly knelt beside him, crushing back the pitying tears, For they had no time for weeping, nor for any girlish fears.

And they robed the icy body, while no glow of maiden shame
Changed the pallor of their foreheads to a flush of lambent flame;

For their saintly hearts yearned o'er it in that hour of sorest need,
And they felt that Death was holy, and it sanctified the deed.
But they smiled and kissed each other when their new, strange taşk
was o'er,

And the form that lay before them its unwonted garments wore.

Then with slow and weary labour a small grave they hollowed out, And they lined it with the withered grass and leaves that lay about. But the day was slowly breaking ere their holy work was done, And in crimson pomp the morning again heralded the sun.

And then those little maidens-they were children of our foesLaid the body of our Drummer-boy to undisturbed repose.



CONSIDER the sea's listless chime:
Time's self it is, made audible—
The murmur of the earth's own shell.
Secret continuance sublime

Is the sea's end. Our sight may pass
No furlong farther. Since time was,
This sound hath told the lapse of time.

No quiet, which is death's-it hath
The mournfulness of ancient life,
Enduring always at dull strife.
As the world's heart of rest and wrath,
Its painful pulse is in the sands.
Lost utterly, the whole sky stands,
Gray and not known, along its path.

Listen alone beside the sea

Listen alone among the woods:
Those voices of twin solitudes

Shall have one sound alike to thee:

Hark where the murmurs of throngèd men

Surge, and sink back, and surge again—

Still the one voice of wave and tree.

Gather a shell from the strown beach,
And listen at its lips: they sigh
The same desire and mystery,
The echo of the whole sea's speech.
And all mankind is thus at heart
Not anything but what thou art;
And Earth, Sea, Man, are all in each.



My heart is like a singing-bird

Whose nest is in a watered shoot;

My heart is like an apple-tree

Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit; My heart is like a rainbow shell That paddles in a halcyon seaMy heart is gladder than all these, Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a dais of silk and down,

Hang it with vair and purple dyes, Carve it in doves, and pomegranates, And peacocks with a hundred eyes; Work it in gold and silver grapes,

In leaves, and silver fleurs-de-lys, Because the birthday of my life

Is come, my love is come to me.


WHEN I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress-tree;


Be the green grass above me
With showers and dew-drops wet,
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain;

And dreaming through the twilight

That doth not rise nor set,

Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.

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