Her Epitaph

The handful here, that once was Mary’s earth,
Held, while it breathed, so beautiful a soul,
That, when she died, all recognized her birth,
And had their sorrow in serene control.

“Not here! not here!” to every mourner’s heart
The wintry wind seemed whispering round her bier;
And when the tomb-door opened, with a start
We heard it echoed from within,—”Not here!”

Shouldst thou, sad pilgrim, who mayst hither pass,
Note in these flowers a delicater hue,
Should spring come earlier to this hallowed grass,
Or the bee later linger on the dew,—

Know that her spirit to her body lent
Such sweetness, grace, as only goodness can;
That even her dust, and this her monument,
Have yet a spell to stay one lonely man,—

Lonely through life, but looking for the day
When what is mortal of himself shall sleep,
When human passion shall have passed away,
And Love no longer be a thing to weep.