Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > America
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX.  1876–79.
 
Middle States: Brooklyn, N. Y.
Greenwood Cemetery
Park Benjamin (1809–1864)
 
HOW soft and pure the sunlight falls
On this lone city of the dead,—
How gilds the cold and marble walls,
Where autumn’s crimson leaves are shed:
The gentle uplands and the glades        5
No sad, funereal aspect wear;
But, as the summer’s greenness fades,
In their new garments seen more fair.
 
Look, Mary,—what a splendid scene
Around us in the distance lies!        10
Bright breaks the silver sea between
This island and the western skies.
How still with all her towers and domes
The city sleeps on yonder shore,—
How many thousand happy homes        15
Yon starless sky is bending o’er!
 
Happy—although this sacred spot
The happiest may receive at last—
How may their memories be forgot,
Save when some casual glance is cast        20
By tearless eyes upon their graves,
And passing strangers bend to learn
O’er whom some tree its foliage waves,
Whose name adorns some sculptured urn.
 
Oh! mournful fate! to die unknown        25
And leave no constant heart to pine;—
And yet, ere many years have flown,
Such fate, dear Mary, may be mine.
Alone I live, and I shall die
With no sweet hand like thine to close—        30
When from my sight earth’s miseries fly—
My eyelids in their long repose.
 
 
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