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[257] Throw back the locust's flowery plume,
     The birch's pale-green scarf,
And break the web of brier and bloom
     From name and epitaph.

A simple muster-roll of death,
     Of pomp and romance shorn,
The dry, old names that common breath
     Has cheapened and outworn.

Yet pause by one low mound, and part
     The wild vines o'er it laced,
And read the words by rustic art
     Upon its headstone traced.

Haply yon white-haired villager
     Of fourscore years can say
What means the noble name of her
     Who sleeps with common clay.

An exile from the Gascon land
     Found refuge here and rest,
And loved, of all the village band,
     Its fairest and its best.

He knelt with her on Sabbath morns,
     He worshipped through her eyes,
And on the pride that doubts and scorns
     Stole in her faith's surprise.

Her simple daily life he saw
     By homeliest duties tried,
In all things by an untaught law
     Of fitness justified.

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