Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MOUNT HOPE CEMETERY, ROCHESTER, by ELIZABETH CLEMENTINE DODGE KINNEY



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MOUNT HOPE CEMETERY, ROCHESTER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Come hither, ye who fear the grave, and call it lone and drear
Last Line: Till the last trump should bid it rise, to see a father, god!
Alternate Author Name(s): Stedman, Edmund Burke, Mrs.


COME hither, ye who fear the grave, and call it lone and drear,
Who deem the burial-place a spot to waken grief and fear;
Oh! come and climb with me this mount where sleep the silent dead,
And through these winding gravel-walks with noiseless footsteps tread.

Stoop down and pluck the fragrant bud, just opening fresh above
The peaceful bed where slumbers one who died in youth and love;
Smell the pure air, so redolent with breath of summer flowers,
And take this sprig of evergreen, a pledge for future hours

See yonder river sparkling through the foliage of the grove,
How gracefully its course doth bend -- how still its waters move!
Sit 'neath the branches of this tree which spread their grateful shade

To screen a spot for musing thought, or holy converse made.
Look round this garden of the dead, where creep green myrtle vines,
Where box surrounds the sleeper's home, and scented sweetbrier twines;
Where lowly violets ope to heaven their tiny eyes of blue,
Fill'd oft at morn with glittering tears, the drops of early dew.

And now, bend upward still your steps to gain the highest peak,
And let your eyes the view beneath, and distant prospect seek;
O, beautiful! thrice beautiful! there, blended hill and dale,
And here, the lofty mansion with the cottage of the vale.

The city spires, which look to Heaven, in whose high cause they stand
As guides to point the pilgrim's eye toward the far promised land;
The distant villages that speck with white the wavy green,
And farther still, the deep blue lake, with many a sail, is seen.

Descend again, and pause beside this vine-encircled tomb;
And tell me, is there aught around to fill the mind with gloom?
List to the feather'd songsters' notes that warble from the trees,
And hear the music soft that steals upon the whispering breeze!

Oh, say, do not fair Nature's tones awake the soul to bliss?
And does not thought ascend to heaven, from such a spot as this?
And even the grave, does not its voice, amid such flowery ground,
Say to the weary sons of earth, "Here sweet repose is found?"

MOUNT HOPE! thy consecrated walks I never more may tread,
And learn to die by conning here the lessons of the dead;
Yet sweet 't would be to "rest my flesh in hope" beneath thy sod,
Till the last trump should bid it rise, to see a FATHER, GOD!





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