Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
Ode Sung on the Occasion of Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead
By Henry Timrod (1828–1867)
At Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, S.C.

SLEEP sweetly in your humble graves,—
  Sleep, martyrs of a fallen cause!
Though yet no marble column craves
  The pilgrim here to pause,
In seeds of laurel in the earth        5
  The blossom of your fame is blown,
And somewhere, waiting for its birth,
  The shaft is in the stone!
Meanwhile, behalf the tardy years
  Which keep in trust your storied tombs,        10
Behold! your sisters bring their tears,
  And these memorial blooms.
Small tributes! but your shades will smile
  More proudly on these wreaths to-day,
Than when some cannon-mouldered pile        15
  Shall overlook this bay.
Stoop, angels, hither from the skies!
  There is no holier spot of ground
Than where defeated valor lies,
  By mourning beauty crowned!        20

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