Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
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James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
 
June 29
To E. B. B.
By James Thomson (1834–1882)
 
          Elizabeth Barrett Browning died June 29, 1861.

THE WHITE-ROSE garland at her feet,
  The crown of laurel at her head,
Her noble life on earth complete,
  Lay her in the last low bed
For the slumber calm and deep:        5
  “He giveth His beloved sleep.”
 
Soldiers find their fittest grave
  In the field whereon they died;
So her spirit pure and brave
  Leaves the clay it glorified        10
To the land for which she fought
With such grand impassioned thought.
 
Keats and Shelley sleep at Rome,
  She in well-loved Tuscan earth;
Finding all their death’s long home        15
  Far from their old home of birth.
Italy, you hold in trust
Very sacred English dust.
 
Therefore this one prayer I breathe,—
  That you yet may worthy prove        20
Of the heirlooms they bequeath
  Who have loved you with such love:
Fairest land while land of slaves
Yields their free souls no fit graves.
 
 
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