A grave I know
Where earthly show

The righteous Perisheth, and no Man Layeth it to Heart

 

A grave I know
Where earthly show
Is not—a mound
Whose gentle round
Sustains the load
Of a fresh sod.
Its shape is rude,
And weeds intrude
Their yellow flowers—
In gayer bowers
Unknown.  The grass,
A tufted mass,
Is rank and strong—
Unsmoothed and long.
No rosebud there
Embalms the air;
No lily chaste
Adorns the waste,
Nor daisy’s head
Bedecks the bed.
No myrtles wave
Above that grave;
Nor heather-bell
Is there to tell
Of gentle friend
Who sought to lend
A sweeter sleep
To him who deep
Beneath the ground
Repose has found.
No stone of woe
Is there to show
The name, or tell
How passing well
He loved his God,
And how he trod
The humble road
That leads through sorrow
To a bright morrow.
Unknown in life,
And far from strife,
He lived;—and though
The magic flow
Of genius played
Around his head;
And he could weave
“The song at eve,”
And touch the heart,
With gentlest art;
Or cares beguile,
And draw the smile
Of peace from those
Who wept their woes;—
Yet when the love
Of Christ above
To guilty men
Was shown him—then
He left the joys
Of worldly noise,
And humbly laid
His drooping head
Upon the cross;
And thought the loss
Of all that earth
Contained—of mirth
Of loves, and fame,
And pleasures’ name
No sacrifice
To win the prize,
Which Christ secured
When he endured
For us the load—
The wrath of God!
With many a tear,
And many a fear,
With many a sigh
And heart-wrung cry
Of timid faith,
He sought the breath:
But which can give
The power to live—
Whose word alone
Can melt the stone,
Bid tumult cease,
And all be peace!
He sought not now
To wreath his brow
With laurel bough.
He sought no more
To gather store
Of earthly lore,
Nor vainly strove
To share the love
Of heaven above
With aught below
That earth can show.
  That smile forsook
His cheek—his look
Was cold and sad;
And even the glad
Return of morn,
When the ripe corn
Waves o’er the plains,
And simple swains
With joy prepare
The toil to share
Of harvest, brought
No lively thought
To him.

*  *  *  *

And spring adorns
The sunny morns
With opening flowers;
And beauty showers
O’er lawn and mead’
Its virgin head
The snow-drop steeps
In dew, and peeps
The crocus forth,
Nor dreads the north—
But even spring
No smile can bring
To him, whose eye
Sought in the sky
For brighter scenes,
Where intervenes
No darkening clod
Of sin to shroud
The gazer’s view,
Thus sadly flew
The merry spring;
And gaily sing
The birds their loves
In summer groves.
But not for him
Their notes they trim.
His ear is cold—
His tale is told.
Above his grave
The grass may wave—

*  *  *  *

The crowd pass by
Without a sigh
Above the spot.
They knew him not—
They could not know;
And even though,
Why should they shed
Above the dead
Who slumbers here
A single tear?
I cannot weep,
Though in my sleep
I sometimes clasp,
With love’s fond grasp
His gentle hand,
And see him stand
Beside my bed,
And lean his head
Upon my breast,
And bid me rest
Nor night nor day
Till I can say
That I have found
The holy ground
In which there lies
The Pearl of Price—
Till all the ties
The soul that bind,
And all the lies
The soul that blind
Be *  *  *  *

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