Verse > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow > Complete Poetical Works
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882).  Complete Poetical Works.  1893.
 
Translations
From the Anglo-Saxon.
The Grave
 
FOR thee was a house built
Ere thou wast born,
For thee was a mould meant
Ere thou of mother camest.
But it is not made ready,        5
Nor its depth measured,
Nor is it seen
How long it shall be.
Now I bring thee
Where thou shalt be;        10
Now I shall measure thee,
And the mould afterwards.
 
  Thy house is not
Highly timbered,
It is unhigh and low;        15
When thou art therein,
The heel-ways are low,
The side-ways unhigh.
The roof is built
Thy breast full nigh,        20
So thou shalt in mould
Dwell full cold,
Dimly and dark.
 
  Doorless is that house,
And dark it is within;        25
There thou art fast detained
And Death hath the key.
Loathsome is that earth-house,
And grim within to dwell.
There thou shalt dwell,        30
And worms shall divide thee.
 
  Thus thou art laid,
And leavest thy friends;
Thou hast no friend,
Who will come to thee,        35
Who will ever see
How that house pleaseth thee;
Who will ever open
The door for thee,
And descend after thee;        40
For soon thou art loathsome
And hateful to see.
 
 
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