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Dirge (Dunbar)

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For works with similar titles, see Dirge.


            DIRGE

Place this bunch of mignonette
  In her cold, dead hand;
When the golden sun is set,
  Where the poplars stand,
Bury her from sun and day,
Lay my little love away
      From my sight.

She was like a modest flower
  Blown in sunny June,
Warm as sun at noon's high hour,
  Chaster than the moon.
Ah, her day was brief and bright,
Earth has lost a star of light;
      She is dead.

Softly breathe her name to me,—
  Ah, I loved her so.
Gentle let your tribute be;
  None may better know
Her true worth than I who weep
O'er her as she lies asleep—
      Soft asleep.

Lay these lilies on her breast,
  They are not more white
Than the soul of her, at rest
  'Neath their petals bright.
Chant your aves soft and low,
Solemn be your tread and slow,—
      She is dead.

Lay her here beneath the grass,
  Cool and green and sweet,
Where the gentle brook may pass
  Crooning at her feet.
Nature's bards shall come and sing,
And the fairest flowers shall spring
      Where she lies.

Safe above the water's swirl,
  She has crossed the bar;
Earth has lost a precious pearl,
  Heaven has gained a star,
That shall ever sing and shine,
Till it quells this grief of mine
      For my love.

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.