Death had laid aside his terror,
And he found thee calm and mild,
Lying in thy robes of whiteness,
Like a pure and stainless child.
Hardly had the mountain violet
Spread its blossoms on the sod,
Ere they laid the turf above thee,
And thy spirit rose to God.
Early wert thou taken, Mary!
And I know ’tis vain to weep—
Tears of mine can never wake thee
From thy sad and silent sleep.
O away! my thoughts are earthward!
Not asleep, my love, art thou!
Dwelling in the land of glory
With the saints and angels now.
Brighter, fairer far than living,
With no trace of woe or pain,
Robed in everlasting beauty,
Shall I see thee once again,
By the light that never fadeth,
Underneath eternal skies,
When the dawn of resurrection
Breaks o’er deathless Paradise.
THE OLD CAMP
WRITTEN IN A ROMAN FORTIFICATION IN BAVARIA
There is a cloud before the sun,
The wind is hushed and still,
And silently the waters run
Beneath the sombre hill.
The sky is dark in every place,
As is the earth below:
Methinks it wore the self-same face
Two thousand years ago.
No light is on the ancient wall,
No light upon the mound;
The very trees, so thick and tall,
Cast gloom, not shade, around.
So silent is the place and cold,
So far from human ken,
It hath a look that makes me old,
And spectres time again.
I listen, half in thought to hear
The Roman trumpet blow—
I search for glint of helm and spear
Amidst the forest bough:
And armour rings, and voices swell—
I hear the legion’s tramp,
And mark the lonely sentinel
Who guards the lonely camp.
Methinks I have no other home,
No other hearth to find;
For nothing save the thought of Rome
Is stirring in my mind.
And all that I have heard or dreamed,
And all I had forgot,
Are rising up, as though they seemed
The household of the spot.
And all the names that Romans knew
Seem just as known to me,
As if I were a Roman too—
A Roman born and free:
And I could rise at Caesar’s name,
As though it were a charm
To draw sharp lightning from the tame,
And brace the coward’s arm.
And yet, if yonder sky were blue,
And earth were sunny gay,
If nature wore the summer hue
That decked her yesterday,
The mound, the trench, the rampart’s space,
Would move me nothing more
Than many a sweet sequestred place
That I have marked before.