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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.

The Sphinx at Mount Auburn

By Charlotte Fiske Bates (1838–1916)

HOW grand she is enthroned among the dead,

The graves like trophies all about her spread!

Have these not perished as in fable old

With some unfathomed riddle in their hold?

But what the riddle that she now doth ask,

The might of man so fatally to task?

Well may we fancy “What are Life and Death?”

To be the question that has hushed their breath.

Sphinx! Life and Death in thee their type have found,

For so are they in mystic oneness bound;

Fruitful as woman, beautiful as she,

Dread as the lion in his majesty.