Home  »  Yale Book of American Verse  »  11 On the Death of Joseph Rodman Drake

Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. (1838–1915). Yale Book of American Verse. 1912.

Fitz-Greene Halleck 1790–1867

Fitz-Greene Halleck

11 On the Death of Joseph Rodman Drake

GREEN be the turf above thee,

Friend of my better days!

None knew thee but to love thee,

Nor named thee but to praise.

Tears fell, when thou wert dying,

From eyes unused to weep,

And long where thou art lying,

Will tears the cold turf steep.

When hearts, whose truth was proven,

Like thine, are laid in earth,

There should a wreath be woven

To tell the world their worth;

And I, who woke each morrow

To clasp thy hand in mine,

Who shared thy joy and sorrow,

Whose weal and woe were thine:

It should be mine to braid it

Around thy faded brow,

But I ’ve in vain essayed it,

And feel I can not now.

While memory bids me weep thee,

Nor thoughts nor words are free,

The grief is fixed too deeply

That mourns a man like thee.