06 November 2013

The Burial of Love - An 1859 Poem

Two dark-eyed maids, at shut of day,
Sat where a river roiled away,
With calm, and brows and raven hair,
And one was pale and both were fair.
"Bring Flowers," they sang, "bring flowers unblown,"
Bring forest blooms of name unknown,
Bring budding sprays from wood and wild,
To strew the bier of Love, the child.
Close softly, fondly, while we weep,
His eyes, that death may seem like sleep,
And fold his hands in sign of rest,
His waxen hands, across his breast,
And mask his grave where violets hide,
Where star-flowers strew the rivulet's side,
And blue birds, in the misty spring
Of cloudless skies and summer, sing.
Place near him, as ye lay him low,
His idle shaft, his loosen bow,
The silken fillet that around
His waggish eye, in sport, he wound.
The bow, the band shall fall to dust,
The shining arrow waste to rust,
And all of love, that earth can claim,
Be but a memory and a name.
Not this, his nobler part shall dwell,
A prisoner in the narrow cell,
But he whom now we hide from men,
In the dark ground, shall live again.
Shall break these clods, a form of light,
With nobler mien, and purer sight,
And, in the eternal glory, stand,
Highest and nearest God's right hand.
February 4, 1859. Tiffin Tribune 11(17): 1.