BLACK CAT POEMS
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Peace to the silent dead!
Peace to your voiceless sleep--pale race of men!
Gathered from sea and land, from hill and glen
To fill the same cold bed.
A countless throng are ye!
Men of the ancient time; peasant and king,
Whose fiery passions made the earth to ring
--Whose din shook land and sea.
Peace to your quiet sleep!
Your arms of terror are o'erspread with rust;
Your giant frames are mingled with the dust;
--Your rest is long and deep.
Peace to the dead of Rome.
Empress of heathen time; thy pomp hath fled
As fades the mist around the mountain head
When the warm light doth come.
Kings--that did scourge your lands,
And ye whose glory ne'er hath had a stain,
There's but one voice can call ye up again,
--Sleep till that voice commands.
Who doth not bless the dead?
Is there a heart that throbs not at the name,
Of some long-perished friend; whose deathless fame
In his own breast is treasured.
Ask of the feeble one
That falters by the path; the aged man,
With head bowed down to earth, and forehead wan,
If he doth weep for none!
Oft in the toil of life,
When hard beset with grief; we love to turn
And think of those who'll ne'er again return,
--The brother--the son--or wife.
How solemn is the grave!
Oh! there's a warning in the death-quenched eye,
And pale, pale lip; they tell us we must die,
The fair--the good--the brave.
poems by Isaac McLellan