Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A WOODLAND GRAVE, by JOHN BYRNE LEICESTER WARREN



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A WOODLAND GRAVE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Bring no jarring lute this way
Last Line: Doz'd with woodland lullabies.
Alternate Author Name(s): Lancaster, William P.; Preston, George F.; De Tabley, 3d Baron; De Tabley, Lord
Subject(s): Forests; Graves; Woods; Tombs; Tombstones


BRING no jarring lute this way
To demean her sepulchre,
Toys of love and idle day
Vanish as we think of her.
We, who read her epitaph,
Find the world not worth a laugh.

Light, our light, what dusty night
Numbs the golden drowsy head?
Lo! empath'd in pearls of light,
Morn resurgent from the dead;
From whose amber shoulders flow
Shroud and sheet of cloudy woe.

Woods are dreaming, and she dreams:
Through the foliaged roof above
Down immeasurably streams
Splendor like an angel's love,
Till the tomb and gleaming urn
In a mist of glory burn.

Cedars there in outspread palls
Lean their rigid canopies;
Yet a lark note through them falls,
As he scales his orient skies.
That aerial song of his,
Sweet, might come from thee in bliss.

There the roses pine and weep
Strong, delicious human tears;
There the posies o'er her sleep
Through the years -- ah! through the years:
Spring on spring renew the show
Of their frail memorial woe.

Wreaths of intertwisted yew
Lay for cypress where she lies,
Mingle perfume from the blue
Of the forest violet's eyes.
Let the squirrel sleek its fur,
And the primrose peep at her.

We have seen three winters sow
Hoarfrost on thy winding-sheet:
Snows return again, and thou
Hearest not the crisping sleet.
Winds arise and winds depart,
Yet no tempest rocks thy heart.

We have seen with fiery tongue
Thrice the infant crocus born:
Thrice its trembling curtain hung
In a chink of frozen morn.
This can rear its silken crest:
Nothing thaws her ice-bound breast.

We have eaten, we have earn'd
Wine of grief and bread of care,
We, who saw her first inurn'd
In the dust and silence there.
We have wept -- ah God! not so:
Trivial tears dried long ago.

But we yearn and make our moan
For the step we us'd to know:
Gentle hand and tender tone,
Laughter in a silver flow:
All that sweetness in thy chain,
Tyrant Grave, restore again.

Bring again the maid who died:
We have wither'd since she went.
O unseal the shadowy side
Of her marble monument;
Earth, disclose her as she lies
Doz'd with woodland lullabies.





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