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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

Wandering Along a Waste

By Richard Henry Stoddard (1825–1903)

[From Poems. Complete Edition. 1880.]

WANDERING along a waste

Where once a city stood,

I saw a ruined tomb,

And in that tomb an urn:

A sacred, funeral urn,

Without a name, or date,

And in its hollow depth

A little human dust.

“Whose dust is here,” I asked

“In this forgotten urn?

And where this waste now lies

What city rose of old?”

None knows; its name is lost;

It was, and is no more.

Gone like a wind that blew

A thousand years ago.

Its melancholy end

Will be the end of all;

For as it passed away

The Universe will pass,

Its sole memorial

Some ruined World like ours;

A solitary urn

Full of the dust of men.