Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
XIX. The Shrouding
The Farewell to the Dead
By Felicia Dorothea Hemans (1793–1835)
    COME near!—ere yet the dust
Soil the bright paleness of the settled brow
Look on your brother; and embrace him now,
    In still and solemn trust!
Come near!—once more let kindred lips be press’d        5
On his cold cheek; then bear him to his rest!…
    Ye weep, and it is well!
For tears befit earth’s partings!—Yesterday,
Song was upon the lips of this pale clay,
    And sunshine seem’d to dwell        10
Where’er he moved—the welcome and the bless’d!—
Now gaze! and bear the silent unto rest!…
    Look on him! Is he laid
To slumber from the harvest or the chase?—
Too still and sad the smile upon his face;        15
    Yet that, even that must fade:
Death holds not long unchanged his fairest guest.
Come near! and bear the mortal to his rest!
    His voice of mirth hath ceased
Amidst the vineyards! there is left no place        20
For him whose dust receives your vain embrace,
    At the gay bridal-feast!
Earth must take earth to moulder on her breast.
Come near! weep o’er him! bear him to his rest.

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