Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/34

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28
A TALE OF PARAGUAY.


X.

 Who is there to make ready now the pit,
 The house that will content from this day forth
 Its easy tenant? Who in vestments fit
 Shall swathe the sleeper for his bed of earth,
 Now tractable as when a babe at birth?
 Who now the ample funeral urn shall knead,
 And burying it beneath his proper hearth
 Deposit there with careful hands the dead,
And lightly then relay the floor above his head?

XI.

 Unwept, unshrouded, and unsepulchred,
 The hammock where they hang, for winding sheet
 And grave suffices the deserted dead:
 There from the armadillo's searching feet
 Safer than if within the tomb's retreat.
 The carrion birds obscene in vain essay
 To find that quarry: round and round they beat
 The air, but fear to enter for their prey.
And from the silent door the jaguar turns away.