Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  Magnolia Cemetery

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

Southern States: Charleston, S. C.

Magnolia Cemetery

By Henry Timrod (1829–1867)

SLEEP sweetly in your humble graves,—

Sleep, martyrs of a fallen cause!

Though yet no marble column craves

The pilgrim here to pause,

In seeds of laurel in the earth

The blossom of your fame is blown,

And somewhere, waiting for its birth,

The shaft is in the stone!

Meanwhile, behalf the tardy years

Which keep in trust your storied tombs,

Behold! your sisters bring their tears,

And these memorial blooms.

Small tributes! but your shades will smile

More proudly on these wreaths to-day,

Than when some cannon-moulded pile

Shall overlook this bay.

Stoop, angels, hither from the skies!

There is no holier spot of ground

Than where defeated valor lies,

By mourning beauty crowned!