Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
 
Graves of Infants
By John Clare (1793–1864)
 
INFANTS’ gravemounds are steps of angels, where
  Earth’s brightest gems of innocence repose.
God is their parent, so they need no tear;
  He takes them to his bosom from earth’s woes—
  A bud their lifetime and a flower their close.        5
Their spirits are the Iris of the skies,
  Needing no prayer; a sunset’s happy close.
Gone are the bright rays of their soft blue eyes;
Flow’rs weep in dew-drops o’er them, and the gale gently sighs.
 
Their lives were nothing but a sunny shower,        10
  Melting on flowers as tears melt from the eye.
Each death
  Was toll’d on flowers as summer gales went by:
  They bow’d and trembled, yet they heaved no sigh;
And the sun smiled to show the end was well.        15
  Infants have naught to weep for ere they die,
All prayers are needless, beads they need not tell;
White flowers their mourners are, Nature their passing bell.
 
 
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