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

Philip Bourke Marston (1850–1887)

From ‘The Old Church-Yard of Bonchurch’

(See full text.)

THE CHURCH-YARD leans to the sea with its dead—

It leans to the sea with its dead so long.

Do they hear, I wonder, the first bird’s song,

When the winter’s anger is all but fled,—

The high, sweet voice of the west wind,

The fall of the warm, soft rain,

When the second month of the year

Puts heart in the earth again?

Do they hear, through the glad April weather,

The green grasses waving above them?

Do they think there are none left to love them,

They have lain for so long there together?

Do they hear the note of the cuckoo,

The cry of gulls on the wing,

The laughter of winds and waters,

The feet of the dancing Spring?

Do they feel the old land slipping seaward,

The old land, with its hills and its graves,

As they gradually slide to the waves

With the wind blowing on them from leeward?

Do they know of the change that awaits them,

The sepulchre vast and strange?

Do they long for days to go over,

And bring that miraculous change?