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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Dirge of Larra
By José Zorrilla y Moral (1817–1893)
 
ON the breeze I hear the knell
Of the solemn funeral bell,
Marshaling another guest
To the grave’s unbroken rest.
 
He has done his earthly toil,        5
And cast off his mortal coil,
As a maid, in beauty’s bloom,
Seeks the cloister’s living tomb.
 
When he saw the Future rise
To his disenchanted eyes,        10
Void of Love’s celestial light,
It was worthless in his sight;
And he hurried, without warning,
To the night that knows no morning.
 
He has perished in his pride,        15
Like a fountain, summer-dried;
Like a flower of odorous breath,
Which the tempest scattereth:
But the rich aroma left us
Shows the sweets that have been reft us,        20
And the meadow, fresh and green,
What the fountain would have been.
 
Ah! the Poet’s mystic measure
Is a rich but fatal treasure;
Bliss to others, to the master        25
Full of bitterest disaster.
 
Poet! sleep within the tomb,
Where no other voice shall come
O’er the silence to prevail,
Save a brother-poet’s wail;        30
That,—if parted spirits know
Aught that passes here below,—
Falling on thy pensive ear,
Softly as an infant’s tear,
Shall relate a sweeter story        35
Than the pealing trump of glory.
 
If beyond our mortal sight,
In some glorious realm of light,
Poets pass their happy hours,
Far from this cold world of ours,—        40
Oh, how sweet to cast away
This frail tenement of clay,
And in spirit soar above
To the home of endless Love!
 
 
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