Home  »  A Library of American Literature  »  Miserrimus

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


By Richard Henry Stoddard (1825–1903)

[From Poems. Complete Edition. 1880.]

HE has passed away

From a world of strife,

Fighting the wars of Time and Life.

The leaves will fall when the winds are loud,

And the snows of winter will weave his shroud:

But he will never, ah, never know

Anything more

Of leaves or snow.

The summer-tide

Of his life was past,

And his hopes were fading, falling fast.

His faults were many, his virtues few,

A tempest with flecks of heaven’s blue.

He might have soared to the gates of light,

But he built his nest

With the birds of night.

He glimmered apart

In solemn gloom,

Like a dying lamp in a haunted tomb.

He touched his lute with a magic spell,

But all his melodies breathed of hell,

Raising the Afrits and the Ghouls,

And the pallid ghosts

Of the damnèd souls.

But he lies in dust,

And the stone is rolled

Over his sepulchre dark and cold.

He has cancelled all he has done, or said,

And gone to the dear and holy Dead.

Let us forget the path he trod,

He has done with us,

He has gone to God.