This is the ancient graveyard of my people,
And here the plot wherein my kindred sleep –
Just in the shadow of the church’s steeple
Whose bell no more shall stir their slumber deep.
Far have I travelled, far I yet may travel,
Along the pathways of this earthly home;
But here, beneath a load of clay and gravel,
My lifelong journey to an end shall come.
Ah, solemn thought! ‘neath these luxuriant grasses
That flourish on the ashes of the dead,
And sigh and nod to every wind that passes,
‘Tis chill, ‘tis dark – but it shall be my bed.
When the cold clay is in my eyes, and heavy
The load of earth is pressing on my breast
Haply some friends may kneel and say an Ave
Above my ashes, for my spirit’s rest.
And then I hope my little friend, the robin.
Will sit and sing upon my lonely grave;
While melancholy winds, round headstones sobbin,
Will stoop to whisper where the grasses wave.