In God’s Acre.

’Twas on a Morn of Summer1
In the kirkyard lone,2
An old man, hoary headed,3
Sat upon a stone,4
And thought of days departed,5
And griefs that he had known.6
His long white hair was wafted7
On the wandering breeze ;8
A bonnie little maiden9
Frolicked at his knees,10
And twined fair flowers with rushes,11
Gathered on the leas.12
Over her pleasant labour13
She crooned her infant song ;14
I said with self-communing,15
Death shall not tarry long,16
For the old old fruit hath ripened,17
And the young fruit groweth strong.”18
Alas ! for the To-morrow,19
That recks not of To-day !20
Fate, like a serpent crawling,21
Unnoticed, on its prey,22
Came as a burning fever,23
And snatched the babe away.24
Death ! why so harsh and cruel,25
To take the infant mild,26
Home to its God and Father,27
All pure and undefiled :28
And leave the old man hoary29
Weeping for the child ?30
Whom the gods love die early !31
Our Father knoweth best ;32
And we are wrong to censure,33
The supreme behest :34
Sleep softly ! bonnie blossom,35
Sleep ! and take thy rest !36
We need such consolation,37
Whether we live or die :38
Were Death no benefactor,39
Laden with blessings high ;40
Sad, sad were the survivors,41
Under the awful sky !42