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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

A Dirge

By Thomas William Parsons (1819–1892)

SLOWLY tread and gently bear

One that comes across the wave,

From the oppression of his care,

To the freedom of the grave;

From the merciless disease,

Wearing body, wasting brain,

To the rest beneath the trees,—

The forgetting of all pain;

From the delicate eye and ear,

To the rest that shall not see

To the sleep that shall not hear

Nor feel, the world’s vulgarity.

Bear him, in his leaden shroud,

In his pall of foreign oak,

To the uncomplaining crowd

Where ill word was never spoke.

Bear him from life’s broken sleep—

Dreams of pleasure, dreams of pain,

Hopes that tremble, joys that weep,

Loves that perish, visions vain—

To the beautiful repose

Where he was before his birth;

With the ruby, with the rose,

With the harvest, earth in earth!

Bring him to the body’s rest,

After battle, sorely spent,

Wounded, but a welcome guest

In the Chief’s triumphal tent.