Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A MOUNTAINGRAVEYARD, by EFFIE WALLER SMITH

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A MOUNTAINGRAVEYARD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: What a sleeping-place is here!
Last Line: This still-shadowed burial ground.
Subject(s): Cemeteries; Death; Love; Mountains; Graveyards; Dead, The; Hills; Downs (great Britain)

What a sleeping-place is here!
O vast mountain, grim and drear,
Though, throughout their life's hard round,
To thy sons, in long toil bound,
Thou from stony hill and field
Didst a scanty sustenance yield,
Surely thou art kinder now!
Here, beneath the gray cliff's brow,
Sleep they in the hemlocks' gloom,
And no king has prouder tomb.

Far above the clustered mounds,
Through the trees the faint wind sounds,
Waking in each dusky leaf
Sobs of immemorial grief;
And while silent years pass by,
Dark boughs lifted toward the sky
Like wild arms appealing toss,
As if they were mad with loss,
And with human hearts did share
Grief's long protest and despair.

No tall marbles, gleaming white,
Here reflect the softened light;
Yet beside the hillocks green
Rude, uncarven stones are seen,
Brought there from the mountain side
By the mourners' love and pride.
There, too, scattered o'er the grass
Of the graves, are bits of glass
That with white shells mingled lie.
Smile not, ye who pass them by,
For the love that placed them there
Deemed that they were things most fair.

Now, when from their souls at last
Life's long paltriness has passed,
The unending strife for bread
That has stunted heart and head,
These tired toilers may forget
All earth's trivial care and fret.
Haply death may give them more
Than they ever dreamed before,
And may recompense them quite
For all lack of life's delight;
Death may to their gaze unbar
Summits vaster, loftier far
Than the blue peaks that surround
This still-shadowed burial ground.

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