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.
 
1702. The Long Night
 
By Harry Bache Smith
 
 
WHO will watch thee, little mound,
  When a few more years are done,
    And I go with them to rest
    In the silence that is best?
  Grave of my belovëd one,        5
When that I mine own have found,
Who will watch thee, little mound?
 
Who will love thee, little grave?
  Thou must be as others are.
    Hearts low in the dust lie here,        10
    Unloved, alone, unwept, and drear,
  Forgotten as a fallen star.
Only from some dark sobbing wave
The clouds shall bring their tears to lave
Thy withered lilies, little grave.        15
 
Airs that hover over thee,
  Little mound, are strangely sweet;
    Strangely sweet the odors shed
    By the blossoms round thy bed,—
  Blossoms for a maiden meet;        20
But, alas! how will it be
When I lie at rest by thee?
 
After years that are a day
  In the swiftness of their flight,
    None among us will there be        25
    Who will live remembering thee
  And thy beauty. Into night
Who who mourn must take our way
When the twilight cometh gray,
After years that are a day.        30
 
Silent cities of the dead
  Grow as old as hearts of men;
    Flowers sanctified, that bloom
    In the sunshine on a tomb,
  Have their little day, and then,        35
All their grace and glory fled,
They are dead amid the dead.
 
Ah, God! how miserably lost
  The loveliest must be; for naught
    After a little space there lives        40
    (Save the poor words the grave-stone gives
  To heedless eyes and careless thought)
Of pure and blest of passion-tost:
A few brief hours of bloom and frost,
And where are those who loved the lost?        45
 
Even our sorrows, seeming long,
  Must pass, as grains of sand must fall
    Beneath the infinite calm sea
    Of ages and eternity.
  We are faint shadows on a wall;        50
We look our last on love and wrong,
Then fade as doth a silenced song.
 

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