Two Visits To A Grave

I stood by the grave of one beloved,
On a chill and windless night,--
When not a blade of grass was moved,
In its rigid sheath of white.

The starry armament looked down,
From the glassy waste the while,
Perchance they could not seem to frown,
But they did not seem to smile.

Long time had past since they laid him there,
But I heeded not of time,
I knew the stone, tho' blank and bare,
Unmarked by line or rhyme.

Madly I wept that I had been
Over the wild wild sea,
When he had found in this last scene,
A home and a privacy.

The gloomy stillness of the hour
Came coldly to my heart,
And Faith and Hope grew weak in power
To soothe the sinner's smart;

I almost cursed the good great God,--
And vowed that I would be
Even as he beneath the sod,
Tho' I had not lived as he.

I left the tomb,--I ceased to weep,--
But grisly forms of pain
Came thronging from the fields of sleep,
And forced me back again.

That morn the hoar--frost still was there,
In place of balmy dew,--
Unshaken was the silvered hair
Of the old church--yard yew.

I heard a company of birds
Their grateful carol troll,
And a sense of prayer, too much for words,
Arose within my soul.

The web of early mist was gone,
Fresh--wove in nature's loom,
For the sun, like a bold free spirit, shone
Clear on the glistening tomb.

I worshipped, as the gold flood poured
On the scene, before so dim;
And when the Beautiful I adored,
My thoughts were still of him.

I thought, I prayed, and thus became
More full of sweet content,
Watching the sun--beams gently frame
The earth to merriment.

I was not happy, but I prayed,
At heart, that I might not be
As he who in that grave was laid,
Till I had lived as he.

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