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.
 
682. The Cross of Gold
 
By David Gray
 
 
THE FIFTH from the north wall;
Row innermost; and the pall
Plain black—all black—except
The cross on which she wept,
Ere she lay down and slept.        5
 
This one is hers, and this—
The marble next it—his.
So lie in brave accord
The lady and her lord,
Her cross and his red sword.        10
 
And, now, what seekst thou here;
Having nor care nor fear
To vex with thy hot tread
These halls of the long dead,—
To flash the torch’s light        15
Upon their utter night?—
What word hast thou to thrust
Into her ear of dust?
 
Spake then the haggard priest:
“In lands of the far East        20
I dreamed of finding rest—
What time my lips had prest
The cross on this dead breast.
 
“And if my sin be shriven,
And mercy live in heaven,        25
Surely this hour, and here,
My long woe’s end is near—
Is near—and I am brought
To peace, and painless thought
Of her who lies at rest,        30
This cross upon her breast;
 
“Whose passionate heart is cold
Beneath this cross of gold;
Who lieth, still and mute,
In sleep so absolute.        35
Yea, by this precious sign
Shall sleep most sweet be mine;
And I, at last, am blest,
Knowing she went to rest
This cross upon her breast.”        40
 

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