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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

The Cross of Gold

By David Gray (1836–1888)

[Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, 1836. Came to America, 1849. Died at Binghamton, N. Y., 1888. Letters, Poems, and Selected Prose Writings. Edited, with a Memoir, by J. N. Larned. 1888.]

THE FIFTH from the north wall;

Row innermost; and the pall

Plain black—all black—except

The cross on which she wept,

Ere she lay down and slept.

This one is hers, and this—

The marble next it—his.

So lie in brave accord

The lady and her lord,

Her cross and his red sword.

And, now, what seek’st thou here;

Having nor care nor fear

To vex with thy hot tread

These halls of the long dead,—

To flash the torch’s light

Upon their utter night?—

What word hast thou to thrust

Into her ear of dust?

Spake then the haggard priest:

“In lands of the far East

I dreamed of finding rest—

What time my lips had prest

The cross on this dead breast.

“And if my sin be shriven,

And mercy live in heaven,

Surely this hour, and here,

My long woe’s end is near—

Is near—and I am brought

To peace, and painless thought

Of her who lies at rest,

This cross upon her breast,

“Whose passionate heart is cold

Beneath this cross of gold;

Who lieth, still and mute,

In sleep so absolute.

Yea, by this precious sign

Shall sleep most sweet be mine;

And I, at last, am blest,

Knowing she went to rest

This cross upon her breast.”