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

June 29

To E. B. B.

By James Thomson (1834–1882)

  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning died June 29, 1861.

  • THE WHITE-ROSE garland at her feet,

    The crown of laurel at her head,

    Her noble life on earth complete,

    Lay her in the last low bed

    For the slumber calm and deep:

    “He giveth His beloved sleep.”

    Soldiers find their fittest grave

    In the field whereon they died;

    So her spirit pure and brave

    Leaves the clay it glorified

    To the land for which she fought

    With such grand impassioned thought.

    Keats and Shelley sleep at Rome,

    She in well-loved Tuscan earth;

    Finding all their death’s long home

    Far from their old home of birth.

    Italy, you hold in trust

    Very sacred English dust.

    Therefore this one prayer I breathe,—

    That you yet may worthy prove

    Of the heirlooms they bequeath

    Who have loved you with such love:

    Fairest land while land of slaves

    Yields their free souls no fit graves.