Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1861–1889
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889
 
The Cross of Gold
By David Gray (1836–1888)
 
[Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, 1836. Came to America, 1849. Died at Binghamton, N. Y., 1888. Letters, Poems, and Selected Prose Writings. Edited, with a Memoir, by J. N. Larned. 1888.]

THE FIFTH from the north wall;
Row innermost; and the pall
Plain black—all black—except
The cross on which she wept,
Ere she lay down and slept.        5
 
This one is hers, and this—
The marble next it—his.
So lie in brave accord
The lady and her lord,
Her cross and his red sword.        10
 
And, now, what seek’st thou here;
Having nor care nor fear
To vex with thy hot tread
These halls of the long dead,—
To flash the torch’s light        15
Upon their utter night?—
What word hast thou to thrust
Into her ear of dust?
 
Spake then the haggard priest:
“In lands of the far East        20
I dreamed of finding rest—
What time my lips had prest
The cross on this dead breast.
 
“And if my sin be shriven,
And mercy live in heaven,        25
Surely this hour, and here,
My long woe’s end is near—
Is near—and I am brought
To peace, and painless thought
Of her who lies at rest,        30
This cross upon her breast,
 
“Whose passionate heart is cold
Beneath this cross of gold;
Who lieth, still and mute,
In sleep so absolute.        35
Yea, by this precious sign
Shall sleep most sweet be mine;
And I, at last, am blest,
Knowing she went to rest
This cross upon her breast.”        40
 
 
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