This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Harsh fell the tread of hasty feet,
Glanced through the dark the coarse white sheet,
Her coffin and her pall.
‘What—only one!’ the brutal hack-man said,
As, with an oath, he spurned away the dead.
How sunk the inmost hearts of all,
As rolled that dead-cart slowly by,
With creaking wheel and harsh hoof-fall!
The dying turned him to the wall,
To hear it and to die!
Onward it rolled; while oft its driver stayed,
And hoarsely clamored, “Ho! bring out your dead.”
It paused beside the burial-place;
‘Toss in your load!’ and it was done.
With quick hand and averted face,
Hastily to the grave's embrace
They cast them, one by one,
Stranger and friend, the evil and the just,
Together trodden in the churchyard dust!
And thou, young martyr! thou wast there;
No white-robed sisters round thee trod,
Nor holy hymn, nor funeral prayer
Rose through the damp and noisome air,
Giving thee to thy God;
Nor flower, nor cross, nor hallowed taper gave
Grace to the dead, and beauty to the grave!
Yet, gentle sufferer! there shall be,
In every heart of kindly feeling,
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.