Home  »  A Library of American Literature  »  On the Death of Joseph Rodman Drake

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

On the Death of Joseph Rodman Drake

By Fitz-Greene Halleck (1790–1867)

[From The Poetical Writings of Fitz-Greene Halleck. Edited by James Grant Wilson. 1868.]

GREEN be the turf above thee,

Friend of my better days!

None knew thee but to love thee,

Nor named thee but to praise.

Tears fell when thou wert dying,

From eyes unused to weep,

And long, where thou art lying,

Will tears the cold turf steep.

When hearts, whose truth was proven,

Like thine, are laid in earth,

There should a wreath be woven

To tell the world their worth;

And I who woke each morrow

To clasp thy hand in mine,

Who shared thy joy and sorrow,

Whose weal and woe were thine;

It should be mine to braid it

Around thy faded brow,

But I’ve in vain essayed it,

And feel I cannot now.

While memory bids me weep thee,

Nor thoughts nor words are free,

The grief is fixed too deeply

That mourns a man like thee.