Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AD CINERARIUM, by VICTOR GUSTAVE PLARR

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AD CINERARIUM, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Who in this small urn reposes
Last Line: If but soundly he reposes!
Subject(s): Cremation; Death; Mourning; Dead, The; Bereavement

Who in this small urn reposes,
Celt or Roman, man or woman,
Steel of steel, or rose of roses?

Whose the dust set rustling slightly,
In its hiding-place abiding,
When this urn is lifted lightly?

Sure some mourner deemed immortal
What thou holdest and enfoldest,
Little house without a portal!

When the artificers had slowly
Formed thee, turned thee, sealed thee, burned thee,
Freighted with thy freightage holy,

Sure he thought there's no forgetting
All the sweetness and completeness
Of his rising, of her setting,

And so bade them grave no token,
Generation, age, or nation,
On thy round side still unbroken;—

Let them score no cypress verses,
Funeral glories, prayers, or stories,
Mourner's tears, or mourner's curses,

Round thy brown rim time hath polished,—
Left thee dumbly cold and comely
As some shrine of gods abolished.

Ah, 'twas well! It scarcely matters
What is sleeping in the keeping
Of this house of human tatters,—

Steel of steel, or rose of roses,
Man or woman, Celt or Roman,
If but soundly he reposes!

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