Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE NAMELESS GRAVE, by LETITIA ELIZABETH LANDON

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THE NAMELESS GRAVE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A nameless grave - there is no stone
Last Line: And such a nameless grave!
Alternate Author Name(s): L. E. L.; Maclean, Letitia
Subject(s): Graves; Tombs; Tombstones

A NAMELESS grave, -- there is no stone
To sanctify the dead:
O'er it the willow droops alone,
With only wild flowers spread.

"Oh, there is nought to interest here,
No record of a name,
A trumpet call upon the ear,
High on the roll of fame.

"I will not pause beside a tomb
Where nothing calls to mind
Aught that can brighten mortal gloom,
Or elevate mankind; --

"No glorious memory to efface
The stain of meaner clay;
No intellect whose heavenly trace
Redeem'd our earth: -- away!"

Ah, these are thoughts that well may rise
On youth's ambitious pride;
But I will sit and moralise
This lowly stone beside.

Here thousands might have slept, whose name
Had been to thee a spell,
To light thy flashing eyes with flame, --
To bid thy young heart swell.

Here might have been a warrior's rest,
Some chief who bravely bled,
With waving banner, sculptured crest,
And laurel on his head.

That laurel must have had its blood,
That blood have caused its tear; --
Look on the lovely solitude, --
What! wish for warfare here!

A poet might have slept, -- what! he
Whose restless heart first wakes
Its life-pulse into melody,
Then o'er it pines and breaks? --

He who hath sung of passionate love,
His life a feverish tale: --
Oh! not the nightingale, the dove
Would suit this quiet vale.

See, I have named your favourite too, --
Each had been glad to crave
Rest 'neath this turf's unbroken dew,
And such a nameless grave!

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