Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
674. In Clonmel Parish Churchyard
 
At the Grave of Charles Wolfe
 
By Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt
 
 
WHERE the graves were many, we looked for one.
  Oh, the Irish rose was red,
And the dark stones saddened the setting sun
  With the names of the early dead.
Then, a child who, somehow, had heard of him        5
  In the land we love so well,
Kept lifting the grass till the dew was dim
  In the churchyard of Clonmel.
 
But the sexton came. “Can you tell us where
  Charles Wolfe is buried?” “I can.        10
—See, that is his grave in the corner there.
  (Ay, he was a clever man,
If God had spared him!) It ’s many that come
  To be asking for him,” said he.
But the boy kept whispering, “Not a drum        15
  Was heard,”—in the dusk to me.
 
(Then the gray man tore a vine from the wall
  Of the roofless church where he lay,
And the leaves that the withering year let fall
  He swept, with the ivy, away;        20
And, as we read on the rock the words
  That, writ in the moss, we found,
Right over his bosom a shower of birds
  In music fell to the ground.)
 
… Young poet, I wonder did you care,        25
  Did it move you in your rest
To hear that child in his golden hair,
  From the mighty woods of the West,
Repeating your verse of his own sweet will,
  To the sound of the twilight bell,        30
Years after your beating heart was still
  In the churchyard of Clonmel?
 

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