Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
When Death Shall Lay
By William B. Tappan (1794–1849)
WHEN death shall lay this bosom low,
  And every murmur hush to sleep,
When those that give affection now,
  Shall o’er affection’s memory weep,
I would not, when life’s spark has flown,        5
  That strangers should receive the sigh;
I would not, that a hand unknown,
  Should, reckless, close the slumbering eye:
But, on some throbbing breast reclined,
  That beat alone to love and me,        10
Each parting pang subdued, how kind,
  How peaceful, would my exit be.
I would not, that this lowly head
  Should pillow, cold, on foreign clay;
I would not, that my grassy bed        15
  Should be from home and love away:
But, in my native village ground,
  Near kindred dust, these relics laid:
How calm my slumbers, how profound,
  Beneath the old tree’s sombre shade.        20

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