Bayard Taylor


    Dead he lay among his books!
    The peace of God was in his looks.

    As the statues in the gloom
    Watch o'er Maximilian's tomb,

    So those volumes from their shelves
    Watched him, silent as themselves.

    Ah! his hand will nevermore
    Turn their storied pages o'er;

    Nevermore his lips repeat
    Songs of theirs, however sweet.

    Let the lifeless body rest!
    He is gone, who was its guest;

    Gone, as travellers haste to leave
    An inn, nor tarry until eve.

    Traveller! in what realms afar,
    In what planet, in what star,

    In what vast, aerial space,
    Shines the light upon thy face?

    In what gardens of delight
    Rest thy weary feet to-night?

    Poet! thou, whose latest verse
    Was a garland on thy hearse;

    Thou hast sung, with organ tone,
    In Deukalion's life, thine own;

    On the ruins of the Past
    Blooms the perfect flower at last.

    Friend! but yesterday the bells
    Rang for thee their loud farewells;

    And to-day they toll for thee,
    Lying dead beyond the sea;

    Lying dead among thy books,
    The peace of God in all thy looks!


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