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



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THE UNKNOWN GRAVE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: There is a little lonely grave
Last Line: The nameless poet hath a shrine.
Alternate Author Name(s): L. E. L.; Maclean, Letitia
Subject(s): Graves; Tombs; Tombstones


THERE is a little lonely grave
Which no one comes to see,
The foxglove and red orchis wave
Their welcome to the bee.
There never falls the morning sun,
It lies beneath the wall,
But there when weary day is done
The lights of sunset fall,
Flushing the warm and crimson air
As life and hope were present there.

There sleepeth one who left his heart
Behind him in his song;
Breathing of that diviner part
Which must to heaven belong.
The language of those spirit chords,
But to the poet known,
Youth, love, and hope yet use his words,
They seem to be his own:
And yet he has not left a name,
The poet died without his fame.

How many are the lovely lays
That haunt our English tongue,
Defrauded of their poet's praise
Forgotten he who sung.
Tradition only vaguely keeps
Sweet fancies round his tomb;
Its tears are what the wild flower weeps
Its record is that bloom;
Ah, surely Nature keeps with her
The memory of her worshipper.

One of her loveliest mysteries
Such spirit blends at last
With all the fairy fantasies
Which o'er some scenes are cast.
A softer beauty fills the grove,
A light is in the grass,
A deeper sense of truth and love
Comes o'er us as we pass;
While lingers in the heart one line,
The nameless poet hath a shrine.





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