Link To This Page

Share this page:

The Nameless Grave

by Letitia Elizabeth Landon

A nameless grave, -- there is no stone
To sanctify the dead:
O'er it the willow droops alone,
With only wild flowers spread.

O, there is naught to interest here,
No record of a name,
A trumpet-call upon the ear,
High on the roll of fame.

I will not pause beside a tomb
Where nothing calls to mind
Aught that can brighten mortal gloom,
Or elevate mankind; --

No glorious memory to efface
The stay of meaner clay;
No intellect whose heavenly trace
Redeemed our earth: -- away!

Ah, these are thoughts that well may rise
On youth's ambitious pride;
But I will sit and moralize
This lowly stone beside.

Here thousands might have slept, whose name
Had been to thee a spell,
To light thy flashing eyes with flame, --
To bid thy young heart swell.

Here might have been a warrior's rest,
Some chief who bravely bled,
With waving banner, sculptured crest,
And laurel on his head.

That laurel must have had its blood,
That blood have caused its tear, --
Look on the lovely solitude --
What! wish for warfare here!

A poet might have slept, -- what! he
Whose restless heart first wakes
Its life-pulse into melody,
Then o'er it pines and breaks? --

He who hath sung of passionate love,
His life a feverish tale: --
O! not the nightingale, the dove
Would suit its quiet vale.

See, I have named your favorite two, --
Each had been glad to crave
Rest 'neath this turf's unbroken dew,
And such a nameless grave.


Source:

The Poetical Works Of Miss Landon
Copyright 1853
Phillips, Sampson, And Co.
110 Washington Street
Boston