I see around me tombstones grey
Stretching their shadows far away.
Beneath the turf my footsteps tread
Lie low and lone the silent dead -
Beneath the turf - beneath the mould -
Forever dark, forever cold -
And my eyes cannot hold the tears
That memory hoards from vanished years
For Time and Death and Mortal pain
Give wounds that will not heal again -
Let me remember half the woe
I've seen and heard and felt below,
And Heaven itself - so pure and blest,
Could never give my spirit rest -
Sweet land of light! thy children fair
Know nought akin to our despair -
Nor have they felt, nor can they tell
What tenants haunt each mortal cell,
What gloomy guests we hold within -
Torments and madness, tears and sin!
Well - may they live in ectasy
Their long eternity of joy;
At least we would not bring them down
With us to weep, with us to groan,
No - Earth would wish no other sphere
To taste her cup of sufferings drear;
She turns from Heaven with a careless eye
And only mourns that we must die!
Ah mother, what shall comfort thee
In all this boundless misery?
To cheer our eager eyes a while
We see thee smile; how fondly smile!
But who reads not through that tender glow
Thy deep, unutterable woe:
Indeed no dazzling land above
Can cheat thee of thy children's love.
We all, in life's departing shine,
Our last dear longings blend with thine;
And struggle still and strive to trace
With clouded gaze, thy darling face.
We would not leave our native home
For any world beyond the Tomb.
No - rather on thy kindly breast
Let us be laid in lasting rest;
Or waken but to share with thee
A mutual immortality -