A Reverie

You may speak of a grave in a distant land,
    Or of one ’neath ocean’s foam,
Where the dolphins play o’er the sunny spray,
    Far from the dear old home;
Where the coral peaks form a glorious tomb,
    And the mighty waters lave,
But there is naught in the wide world sought
    Like the heart’s deep anguished grave.

You may tell of a grave ’neath the burning sands
    Of the tropics fevered zone;
Where silence reigns o’er the desert plains
    So desolate, so forlorn.
Where the lion’s roar is the liveliest sound
    That o’er that waste is heard—
And the forest bird hymns a plaintive lay,
    A requiem for the dead.

Again you may tell of a grave unsought
    Far from the home of youth;
Where the willow weeps as the exile sleeps
    Akin to Mother Earth.
But O! methinks, there’s not a woe
    That can the bosom cleave,
Or as deeply wound, as the lowly mound
    O’er the heart’s deep, anguished grave.

Copyright © 2022 by Mary Weston Fordham. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 15, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.