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

New England: Cambridge, Mass.

Mount Auburn Cemetery

By Jane Rebecca Thomas

THE GRAVE is clad in beauty! Nature’s hand

Profuse hath scattered of her gifts around;

Here to the eye of day fair flowers expand,

Perfume the glade, and gem the broken ground.

Here forest trees arise, a varied band,

And waters still by willowy margins bound;

Here weep the dews, and through the bosky dell

The breezes come with greeting and farewell.

The grave is clad in beauty! Art hath given

Her aid to those who mourn, and mid the shade

Gleams emblematic sculpture,—columns riven,

Lamps shattered, rosebuds broken and decayed;

Pale crosses pointing through the trees to heaven,

And infant forms in graceful slumber laid;

And massive doors against the green hill’s side,

Sealed till the angel’s voice those bonds divide.

The grave is clad in beauty! It is well;

Why should we burden more the weary heart,

Or add still deeper pangs to those that swell

The weeping eyes, or causelessly impart

External gloom, where all should kindly tell

Of better joys than such as thus depart;

Of hope beyond the marble and the sod,

And blessings for the dead who die in God?

Be reverent here, and think of Him whose tomb

Was in a garden laid; who bore away

From death the sting, the terror, and the gloom

That, mingled in his cup of trembling, lay;

Who sanctified our universal doom,

And gladness gave to it for chill dismay,

And beautified the place of man’s repose,

When from its gloom a conqueror he rose.