Lines Written at the Grave of Alexander Dumas
Cemeteries are places for departed souls
And bones interred,
Or hearts with shattered loves.
A woman with lips made warm for laughter
Would find grey stones and roving spirits
Too chill for living, moving pulses . . .
And thou, great spirit, wouldst shiver in thy granite shroud
Should idle mirth or empty talk
Disturb thy tranquil sleeping.
A cemetery is a place for shattered loves
And broken hearts. . . .
Bowed before the crystal chalice of thy soul,
I find the multi-colored fragrances of thy mind
Has lost itself in Death’s transparency.
Oh, stir the lucid waters of thy sleep
And coin for me a tale
Of happy loves and gems and joyous limbs
And hearts where love is sweet!
A cemetery is a place for broken hearts
And silent thought. . .
And silence never moves,
Nor speaks nor sings.
From Caroling Dusk (Harper & Brothers, 1927), edited by Countee Cullen. This poem is in the public domain.