Littell's Living Age/Volume 136/Issue 1760/Greek Mother's Song

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O where is peace in all the lovely land?
Since the world was, I see the fair and brave
Downward forever fighting toward the grave.
A few white bones upon a lonely sand,
A rotting corpse beneath the meadow grass
That cannot hear the footsteps as they pass,
Memorial urns pressed by some foolish hand
Have been for all the goal of troublous fears.
Ah! breaking hearts and faint eyes dim with tears,
And momentary hopes by breezes fanned
To flame that fading ever falls again
And leaves but blacker night and deeper pain,
Have been the mould of life in every land.


O is there rest beneath the meadow flowers?
Or is there peace indeed beside the shore
Of shadowy Acheron? nor any more
The weary rolling of the sickening hours
Will mark the interchange of woe and woe;
Nor ever voices railing to and fro
Break the sweet silence of those darksome bowers?
But there a sorrowful sweet harmony
Of timeless life in peaceful death shall be
In woodlands dim where never tempest lowers
Nor branding heat can pierce the sunless shade.
O sweet forever in that dreamful glade,
If there indeed such deepest peace be ours!

Macmillan's Magazine.