Once more I pass along the flowering meadow,
Hear cushats call, and mark the fairy rings;
Till where the lych-gate casts its cool dark shadow,
I pause awhile, musing on many things;
Then raise the latch, and passing through the gate,
Stand in the quiet, where men rest and wait.
Bees in the lime-trees do not break their sleeping;
Swallows beneath church eaves disturb them not;
They heed not bitter sobs or silent weeping;
Cares, turmoil, griefs, regrets, they have forgot.
I murmur sadly: "Here, then, all life ends.
We lay you here to rest, and lose you, friends."
By no rebuke is the sweet silence broken.
No voice reproves me; yet a sign is sent;
For from the grassy mounds there comes a token
Of life immortal and I am content.
See! the soul's emblem meets my downcast eyes:
Over the graves are hovering butterflies!