Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, KEATS' GRAVE IN ROME, by RICHARD EUGENE BURTON



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KEATS' GRAVE IN ROME, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Though thou liest prone and mute
Last Line: Draw our hearts unto thy grave!
Subject(s): Flowers; Graves; Keats, John (1795-1821); Poetry & Poets; Sleep; Summer; Trees; Tombs; Tombstones


THOUGH thou liest prone and mute
In this beauty-girdled place,
Sweeter than the sound of lute
Is thy voice unto our race.

From the house that fronts the square
Often, dying, thou didst gaze
Up the stately steps, to where
The old church above the maze

Of the city rings her bells;
Where the flower-girls are gay,
Where Rome's traffic sinks and swells
Through the livelong summer day.

Cestius' pyramid, outside
The Aurelian wall, thy sleep
Broods above, as though in pride
Such a watch and ward to keep.

It is well thou restest here:
For thy friends, the trees and flowers,
Bend above thee close and dear,
Solacing the dreamful hours.

And the grass grows tenderly
All about thy sleep, and skies
Softly smile, and birds make glee
And long shadows soothe thine eyes.

In the city, stately tombs
Carven rich with saint and sage,
Hold in their sepulchral rooms
The renowned of history's page, --

Pope or warrior or prince,
Set in pomp that can not add
Aught of pride or pleasure, since
They are vanished, good and bad.

Thou, far better, slumberest long
In the large, free air of God,
Companied by bloom and song,
Cradled in the scented sod.

* * * * * * * * *

Thou may'st hear the violets grow --
Such thy wish -- and know at last
That triumphant trumpets blow
Thy young name, each silver blast

Bruiting thee across a world.
Sleep secure, and, year by year,
As the flowers are unfurled,
As the birds make merry cheer,

May thy Spirit, blithe of tongue,
Chanting deathlessly and brave,
Keep our souls for ever young,
Draw our hearts unto thy grave!





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