AMONG THE TOMBS.
Sad, sombre place, beneath whose antique yews
I come, unquiet sorrows to control;
Amid thy silent mossgrowh graves to muse
With my neglected solitary soul ;
And to poetic sadness care confide,
Trusting sweet Melancholy for my guide:
They will not ask why in thy shades I stray,
Among the tombs finding my rare delight.
Beneath the sun at indolent noonday.
Or in the windy moon-enchanted night.
Who have once reined in their steeds at any shrine.
And given them water from the well divine. —
The orchards are all ripened, and the sun
Spots the deserted gleanings with decay;
The seeds are perfected : his work is done.
And Autumn lingers but to outsmile the May;
Bidding his tinted leaves glide, bidding clear
Unto clear skies the birds applaud the year.
Lo, here I sit, and to the world I call.
The world my solemn fancy leaves behind.
Come! pass within the inviolable wall,
Gome pride, come pleasure, come distracted mind ;
Within the fated refuge, hither, turn.
And learn your wisdom ere 'tis late to learn.
Come with me now, and taste the fount of tears ;
For many eyes have sanctified this spot,
Where griefs unbroken lineage endears
The charm untimely Folly injures not,
And slays the intruding thoughts, that overleap
The simple fence its holiness doth keep.
Read the worn names of the forgotten dead,
Their pompous legends will no smile awake;
Even the vainglorious title p'er the head
Wins its pride pardon for its sorrow's sake ;
And carven Loves scorn not their dusty prize,
Though fallen so far from tender sympathies.
Here where a mother laid her only son.
Here where a lover left his bride, below
The treasured names their own are added on
To those whom they have followed long ago:
Sealing the record of the tears they shed,
That 'where their treasure there their hearts are fled.
Grandfather, father, son, and then again
Child, grandchild, and great grandchild laid beneath,
Numbered in turn among the sons of men,
And gathered each one in his turn to death:
While he that occupies their house and name
To-day, — to-morrow too their grave shall claim.
And where are all their spirits? Ah! could we tell
The manner of our being when we die, . .
And see beyond the scene we know so well
The country that so much obscured doth lie!
With brightest visions our fond hopes repair.
Or crown our melancholy with despair;
From death, still death, still would a comfort come:
Since of this world the essential joy must fall
In all distributed, in each thing some.
In nothing all, and all complete in all ;
Till pleasure, ageing to her full increase.
Puts on perfection, and is throned in peace.
Yea, sweetest peace, unsought-for, nndesired,
Loathed and misnamed, 'tis thee I worship here :
Though in most black habiliments attired,
Thou art sweet peace, and thee I cannot fear.
Nay, were my last hope quenched, I here would sit
And praise the annihilation of the pit.
Nor quickly disenchanted will my feet
Back to the busy town return, but yet
Linger, ere I my loving friends would greet,
Or touch their hands, or share without regret
The warmth of that kind hearth, whose sacred ties
Only shall dim "with tears my dying eyes.