Longfellow: 1807-1907

MARCH, 1907

ABOVE his grave the grass and snow
Their soft antiphonal strophes write :
Moonrise and daybreak come and go :
Summer by summer on the height
The thrushes find melodious breath.
Here let no vagrant winds that blow
Across the spaces of the night
Whisper of death.
They do not die who leave their thought
Imprinted on some deathless page.
Themselves may pass; the spell they wrought
Endures on earth from age to age.
And thou, whose voice but yesterday
Fell upon charmèd listening ears,
Thou shalt not know the touch of years ;
Thou holdest time and chance at bay.
Thou livest in thy living word
As when its cadence first was heard.
O gracious Poet and benign,
Belovèd presence! now as then
Thou standest by the hearths of men.
Their fireside joys and griefs are thine ;
Thou speakest to them of their dead,
They listen and are comforted.
They break the bread and pour the wine
Of life with thee, as in those days
Men saw thee passing on the street
Beneath the elms — O reverend feet
That walk in far celestial ways!