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

Southern States: Goshen Pass, Va.

Through the Goshen Pass

By Margaret Junkin Preston (1820–1897)

Matthew F. Maury’s Last Wish

“HOME,—bear me home at last,” he said,

“And lay me where my dead are lying,

But not while skies are overspread,

And mournful wintry winds are sighing.

“Wait till the royal march of Spring

Carpets your mountain fastness over,—

Till chattering birds are on the wing,

And buzzing bees are in the clover.

“Wait till the laurel bursts its buds,

And creeping ivy flings its graces

About the lichened rocks, and floods

Of sunshine fill the shady places.

“Then, when the sky, the air, the grass,

Sweet Nature all, is glad and tender,

Then bear me through the Goshen Pass,

Amid its flush of May-day splendor.”

So will we bear him! Human heart

To the warm Earth’s drew never nearer,

And never stooped she to impart

Lessons to one who held them dearer.


His noble living for the ends

God set him (duty underlying

Each thought, word, action) naught transcends

In lustre, save his nobler dying.

Do homage, sky, and air, and grass,

All things he cherished, sweet and tender,

As through our gorgeous mountain-pass

We bear him in the May-day splendor!