Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1835–1860
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. VI–VIII: Literature of the Republic, Part III., 1835–1860
 
Wandering Along a Waste
By Richard Henry Stoddard (1825–1903)
 
[From Poems. Complete Edition. 1880.]

WANDERING along a waste
Where once a city stood,
    I saw a ruined tomb,
    And in that tomb an urn:
 
A sacred, funeral urn,        5
Without a name, or date,
    And in its hollow depth
    A little human dust.
 
“Whose dust is here,” I asked
“In this forgotten urn?        10
    And where this waste now lies
    What city rose of old?”
 
None knows; its name is lost;
It was, and is no more.
    Gone like a wind that blew        15
    A thousand years ago.
 
Its melancholy end
Will be the end of all;
    For as it passed away
    The Universe will pass,        20
 
Its sole memorial
Some ruined World like ours;
    A solitary urn
    Full of the dust of men.
 
 
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