Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
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Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
 
XX. The Burial
Under the Violets
By Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809–1894)
 
HER hands are cold; her face is white;
  No more her pulses come and go;
Her eyes are shut to life and light;—
  Fold the white vesture, snow on snow,
  And lay her where the violets blow.        5
 
But not beneath a graven stone,
  To plead for tears with alien eyes;
A slender cross of wood alone
  Shall say, that here a maiden lies
  In peace beneath the peaceful skies.        10
 
And grey old trees of hugest limb
  Shall wheel their circling shadows round
To make the scorching sunlight dim
  That drinks the greenness from the ground,
  And drop the dead leaves on her mound.        15
 
When o’er their boughs the squirrels run,
  And through their leaves the robins call,
And, ripening in the autumn sun,
  The acorns and the chestnuts fall,
  Doubt not that she will heed them all.        20
 
For her the morning choir shall sing
  Its matins from the branches high,
And every minstrel-voice of Spring,
  That trills beneath the April sky,
  Shall greet her with its earliest cry….        25
 
 
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