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
 
Loss
By James Herbert Morse (1841–1923)
 
[Born in Hubbardston, Mass., 1841.]

THE MOON last night was shining
  Brightly on land and sea,
And I from the pine grove could see her,
  As I leaned against a tree.
 
I doffed my hat, though ’twas midnight,        5
  As she slowly rode through the sky,
And I said to her softly and sadly:
  “Pale moon, far off and high,
 
“Thou seest a thousand churchyards,—
  All still they lie, and white;        10
And thou pourest thy holy splendor
  O’er all of them, night by night.
 
“There is one on a hillside lying,—
  ’Tis little and lonely and bare;
But O shine down more softly,        15
  Sweet moon, when thou comest there!”
*        *        *        *        *
I came to an inland river,—
  For on, from state to state,
With a burden not easy to carry,
  I have wandered much of late,—        20
 
’Twas midnight. Amid the alders
  I sat down, the river nigh,
And my shadow sat there beside me,
  For the moon was full and high.
 
The river seemed sighing and sobbing:        25
  “O River, why sighest thou so?”—
“There are so many tombstones
  On my banks, wherever I go!”
 
“Then thy sighing and thy sobbing,
  O River, I cannot blame.”        30
And I dropped my head on my bosom,
  My shadow did the same.
 
 
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