Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
XXIX. The Happy Dead
A Dirge
By Robert Nicoll (1814–1837)
SLEEP on, sleep on, ye resting dead;
    The grass is o’er ye growing
In dewy greenness. Ever fled
From you hath Care; and, in its stead,
Peace hath with you its dwelling made,        5
  Where tears do cease from flowing.
                Sleep on!
Sleep on, sleep on: Ye do not feel
    Life’s ever-burning fever—
Nor scorn that sears, nor pains that steel        10
And blanch the loving heart, until
’Tis like the bed of mountain-rill
  Which waves have left for ever!
                Sleep on!
Sleep on, sleep on: Your couch is made        15
    Upon your mother’s bosom;
Yea, and your peaceful lonely bed
Is all with sweet wild-flowers inlaid;
And over each earth-pillowed head
  The hand of Nature strews them.        20
                Sleep on!
Sleep on, sleep on: I would I were
    At rest within your dwelling,—
No more to feel, no more to bear
The world’s falsehood and its care—        25
The arrows it doth never spare
  On him whose feet are failing.
                Sleep on!

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