James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

October 12


By Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–1895)

(Westminster Abbey: October 12, 1892)
(The Minister speaks)

BRING me my dead!

To me that have grown,

Stone laid upon stone,

As the stormy brood

Of English blood

Has wax’d and spread

And fill’d the world,

With sails unfurl’d;

With men that may not lie;

With thoughts that cannot die.

Bring me my dead!

Into the storied hall,

Where I have garner’d all

My harvest without weed;

My chosen fruits of goodly seed,

And lay him gently down among

The men of state, the men of song:

The men that would not suffer wrong:

The thought-worn chieftains of the mind:

Head-servants of the human kind.

Bring me my dead!

The autumn sun shall shed

Its beams athwart the bier’s

Heap’d blooms: a many tears

Shall flow; his words, in cadence sweet and strong,

Shall voice the full hearts of the silent throng.

Bring me my dead!

And oh! sad wedded mourner, seeking still

For vanish’d hand clasp: drinking in thy fill

Of holy grief; forgive, that pious theft

Robs thee of all, save memories, left:

Not thine to kneel beside the grassy mound

While dies the western glow: and all around

Is silence; and the shadows closer creep

And whisper softly: All must fall asleep.