The Bier-Path.

I’ll lead thee to my favourite ground within the valley nigh,1
Where a narrow rushing river foameth ever wildly by2
O’erhung with rugged rocks which glance from out a leafy screen3
Their gray and sombre sides festooned with canopies of green.4
Around the entrance-porch are twining no bright summer flowers,5
It leadeth to no garden trim or rose-encircled bowers ;6
But welcome is the solemn shade from garish light of day,7
Where gloomy yews of age unknown survive amid decay.8
A pathway windeth from the porch—a broad and decent way9
Adown it in the evening-time young footsteps often stray.10
It hath no rustic resting-seat, no fragrance round it shed :11
It windeth through the lone churchyard—the bier-path of the
dead !
No nightingales frequent the spot, but ofttimes may be heard13
The robin’s note in cadence sad—the melancholy bird !14
It hoppeth lightly o’er the sod, disturbs no grassy bed :15
But soft and sweetly singeth still a requiem for the dead !16
Ah ! hallowed is that old bier-porch, since when, in mute despair,17
I knelt beside a dismal load the bearers rested there !18
That bier-path is the dearest path in all the world to me19
For it alone, my lost beloved, can bring me near to thee !20
May I be borne beneath that porch when journeying to the home21
From whence this weary, wasted form, shall never thenceforth
roam !
May I be borne along that path—retracing if no more23
My wanderings all ended here, and all my sorrows o’er !24