In a churchyard old and still, Where the breeze-touched branches thrill To and fro, Giant oak trees blend their shade O'er a sunken grave-mound, made Long ago. No stone, crumbling at its head, Bears the mossed name of the dead Graven deep; But a myriad blossoms' grace Clothes with trembling light the place Of his sleep. Was a young man in his strength Laid beneath this low mound's length, Heeding naught? Did a maiden's parents wail As they saw her, pulseless, pale, Hither brought? Was it else one full of days, Who had traveled darksome ways, And was tired, Who looked forth unto the end, And saw Death come as a friend Long desired? Who it was that rests below Not earth's wisest now may know, Or can tell; But these blossoms witness bear They who laid the sleeper there Loved him well. In the dust that closed him o'er Planted they the garden store Deemed most sweet, Till the fragrant gleam, outspread, Swept in beauty from his head To his feet. Still, in early springtime's glow, Guelder-roses cast their snow O'er his rest; Still sweet-williams breathe perfume Where the peonies' crimson bloom Drapes his breast. Passing stranger, pity not Him who lies here, all forgot, 'Neath this earth; Some one loved him—more can fall To no mortal. Love is all Life is worth.
Effie Waller Smith - 1879-1960
"I have no time for those things now," we say; "But in the future just a little way, No longer by this ceaseless toil oppressed, I shall have leisure then for thought and rest. When I the debts upon my land have paid, Or on foundations firm my business laid, I shall take time for discourse long and sweet With those beloved who round my hearthstone meet; I shall take time on mornings still and cool To seek the freshness dim of wood and pool, Where, calmed and hallowed by great Nature's peace, My life from its hot cares shall find release; I shall take time to think on destiny, Of what I was and am and yet shall be, Till in the hush my soul may nearer prove To that great Soul in whom we live and move. All this I shall do sometime but not now— The press of business cares will not allow." And thus our life glides on year after year; The promised leisure never comes more near. Perhaps the aim on which we placed our mind Is high, and its attainment slow to find; Or if we reach the mark that we have set, We still would seek another, farther yet. Thus all our youth, our strength, our time go past Till death upon the threshold stands at last, And back unto our Maker we must give The life we spent preparing well to live.