We stand upon the churchyard sod and gaze
Into the grave of our beloved dead;
We hear the solemn words of prayer and praise;
We mark the yew-trees waving overhead;
We see the sunshine flicker on the grass -
The green grass of the graves - and daisies white
Adown the lane the village children pass,
And shyly pause to watch the holy rite.
Deep in the earth upon the coffin-lid,
Lies the last gift despairing love could make,
White, scented blossoms, that must soon be hid
With all we loved, from eyes and hearts that ache.
Love, strong as life, was powerless to save;
We can but strew fresh flowers upon the grave.
Yet in this grave, tear-moistened and new-made,
Where we must leave the happiness of years,
May not a worthier sacrifice be laid
Than even our fairest flowers or wildest tears?
If we should bury with the pure white bloom,
A cherished folly or a secret sin,
It might make holier the silent tomb,.
Deepen the peace the dead lies folded in.
Oh, mute, cold grave! that doth receive our lost,
And with our lost the offerings-of our love,
Take these things also; we do count the cost,
And God in heaven doth, looking down, approve.
Sleep, darling, sleep; pray God that dies with thee
Which might have parted us eternally!