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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

A Child’s Grave

By Sarah Orne Jewett (1849–1909)

MORE than a hundred years ago

They raised for her this little stone;

“Miss Polly Townsend, aged nine,”

Under the grass lies here alone.

’Twas hard to leave your merry notes

For ranks of angels, robed and crowned,

To sleep until the Judgment Day

In Copp’s Hill burying-ground.

You must have dreaded heaven then,—

A solemn doom of endless rest,

Where white-winged seraphs tuned their harps—

You surely liked this life the best!

The gray slate head-stones frightened you,

When from Christ Church your father brought

You here on Sunday afternoons,

And told you that this world was naught;

And you spelled out the carven names

Of people who, beneath the sod,

Hidden away from mortal eyes,

Were at the mercy of their God.

You had been taught that He was great,

And only hoped He might be good.—

An awful thought that you must join

This silent neighborhood.

No one remembers now the day

They buried you on Copp’s Hill side;

No one remembers you, or grieves

Or misses you because you died.

I see the grave and reverend men

And pious women, meek and mild,

Walk two by two in company,

The mourners for this little child.

The harbor glistened in the sun,

The bell in Christ Church steeple tolled,

And all the playmates cried for her,

Miss Polly Townsend, nine years old.