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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 Last Furrow

By Edwin Markham (1852–1940)

[Born in Oregon City, Oregon, 1852. Died in Brooklyn, N. Y., 1940. Uncollected Poems. 188–.]

THE SPIRIT OF EARTH with still, restoring hands,

Mid ruin moves, in glimmering chasm gropes,

And mosses mantle and the bright flower opes;

But Death the Ploughman wanders in all lands,

And to the last of earth his furrow stands:

The grave is never hidden: fearful hopes

Follow the dead upon the fading slopes,

And there wild memories meet upon the sands.

When willows fling their banners to the plain,

When rumor of wind and sound of sudden showers

Disturb the dream of winter—all in vain

The grasses hurry to the graves, the flowers

Toss their wild torches on their windy towers:

Yet are the bleak graves lonely in the rain.