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

New England: New Haven, Conn.

The Burying-Ground

By Nathaniel Langdon Frothingham (1793–1870)

OH, where are they whose all that earth could give

Beneath these senseless marbles disappeared?

Where even they who taught these stones to grieve,—

The hands that hewed them, and the hearts that reared?

Such the poor bounds of all that ’s hoped or feared

Within the griefs and smiles of this short day.

Here sank the honored, vanished the endeared.

This the last tribute love to love could pay,—

An idle pageant-pile to graces passed away.

Why deck these sculptured trophies of the tomb?

Why, victims, garland thus the spoiler’s fane?

Hope ye by these to avert oblivion’s doom,

In grief ambitious, and in ashes vain?

Go, rather bid the sand the trace retain

Of all that parted Virtue felt and did!

Yet powerless man revolts from Ruin’s reign;

And Pride has gleamed upon the coffin-lid,

And heaped o’er human dust the mountain pyramid.

Sink, mean memorials of what cannot die!

Be lowly as the relics you o’erspread!

Nor lift your funeral forms so gorgeously,

To tell who slumbers in each lowly bed.

I would not honor thus the sainted dead,

Nor to each stranger’s careless eye declare

My sacred griefs for joy and friendship fled.

No, let me hide the names of those that were,

Deep in my stricken heart, and shrine them only there.