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
 
Desecration
By Richard Watson Gilder (1844–1909)
 
THE POET died last night;
  Outworn his mortal frame.
He hath fought well the fight,
  And won a deathless name.
 
Bring laurel for his bier,        5
  And flowers to deck the hearse.
The tribute of a tear
  To his immortal verse.
 
Hushed is that piercing strain,—
  Who heard, for pleasure wept.        10
His were our joy and pain:
  He sang—our sorrow slept.
 
Yes, weep for him; no more
  Shall such high songs have birth:
Gone is the harp he bore        15
  Forever from the earth.
 
Weep, weep, and scatter flowers
  Above his precious dust:
Child of the heavenly powers,—
  Divine, and pure, and just.        20
 
Weep, weep—for when to-night
  Doth hoot the hornèd owl,
Beneath the pale moon’s light
  The human ghouls will prowl.
 
What creatures those will throng        25
  Within the sacred gloom,
To do our poet wrong—
  To break the sealèd tomb?
 
Not the great world and gay
  That pities not, nor halts        30
By thoughtless night or day—
  But, O more sordid-false,
 
His trusted friend and near,
  To whom his spirit moved;
The brother he held dear;        35
  The woman that he loved.
 
 
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