Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > America
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX.  1876–79.
 
Western States: Louisville, Ky.
Cave Hill Cemetery
George Dennison Prentice (1802–1870)
 
(Excerpt)

    HERE, whilst the twilight dews
Are softly gathering on the leaves and flowers,
    I come, O patriot dead, to muse
        A few brief hours.
 
    Hard by you, rank on rank,        5
Rise the sad evergreens, whose solemn forms
    Are dark as if they only drank
        The thunder-storms.
 
    Through the thick leaves around
The low, wild winds their dirge-like music pour,        10
    Like the far ocean’s solemn sound,
        On its lone shore.
 
    From all the air a sigh,
Dirge-like and soul-like, melancholy, wild,
    Comes like a mother’s wailing cry        15
        O’er her dead child.
 
    Yonder, a little way,
Where mounds rise think like surges on the sea,
    Those whom ye met in fierce array
        Sleep dreamlessly.        20
 
    The same soft breezes sing,
The same birds chant their spirit-requiem,
    The same sad flowers their fragrance fling
        O’er you and them.
 
    And pilgrims oft will grieve        25
Alike o’er Northern and o’er Southern dust,
    And both to God’s great mercy leave
        In equal trust.
 
    Oh, ye and they, as foes,
Will meet no more, but calmly take your rest,        30
    The meek hands folded in repose
        On each still breast.
 
    No marble columns rear
Their shafts to blazon each dead hero’s name,
    Yet well, oh, well, ye slumber here,        35
        Great sons of fame!
 
    The dead as free will start
From the unburdened as the burdened sod,
    And stand as pure in soul and heart
        Before their God.
*        *        *        *        *
        40
 
 
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