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O sad-faced mourners, who each day are wending
Through churchyard paths of cypress and of yew,
Leave, for today, the low graves you are tending,
And lift your eyes to God's eternal blue!


Leave, for today, all murmuring and sadness;
Twine Easter lilies, and not asphodels;
Let your souls answer to the thrill of gladness,
And to the melody of Easter bells.


If Christ were still within the grave's low prison--
A captive to the enemy you dread;
If from that mouldering cell he had not risen,
Who then could chide the bitter tears you shed?


Poor hearts! the butterfly, with pinions golden,
Spurns the gray cell which erst its freedom barred;
And the freed soul, with wings no longer holden,
Shines back on life as on a broken shard.


If Christ were dead, you would have need to sorrow;
But he has risen, and conquered death for aye!
Then dry your tears, if only till the morrow;
Arise, and give your grief a holiday!