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The Child's Funeral Post by :mlmleadslady Category :Poems Author :William Cullen Bryant Date :January 2011 Read :1655

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The Child's Funeral

Fair is thy site, Sorrento, green thy shore,
Black crags behind thee pierce the clear blue skies;
The sea, whose borderers ruled the world of yore,
As clear and bluer still before thee lies.

Vesuvius smokes in sight, whose fount of fire,
Outgushing, drowned the cities on his steeps;
And murmuring Naples, spire o'ertopping spire,
Sits on the slope beyond where Virgil sleeps.

Here doth the earth, with flowers of every hue,
Heap her green breast when April suns are bright,
Flowers of the morning-red, or ocean-blue,
Or like the mountain frost of silvery white.

Currents of fragrance, from the orange tree,
And sward of violets, breathing to and fro,
Mingle, and wandering out upon the sea,
Refresh the idle boatsman where they blow.

Yet even here, as under harsher climes,
Tears for the loved and early lost are shed;
That soft air saddens with the funeral chimes,
Those shining flowers are gathered for the dead.

Here once a child, a smiling playful one,
All the day long caressing and caressed,
Died when its little tongue had just begun
To lisp the names of those it loved the best.

The father strove his struggling grief to quell,
The mother wept as mothers use to weep,
Two little sisters wearied them to tell
When their dear Carlo would awake from sleep.

Within an inner room his couch they spread,
His funeral couch; with mingled grief and love,
They laid a crown of roses on his head,
And murmured, "Brighter is his crown above."

They scattered round him, on the snowy sheet,
Laburnum's strings of sunny-coloured gems,
Sad hyacinths, and violets dim and sweet,
And orange blossoms on their dark green stems.

And now the hour is come, the priest is there;
Torches are lit and bells are tolled; they go,
With solemn rites of blessing and of prayer,
To lay the little corpse in earth below.

The door is opened; hark! that quick glad cry;
Carlo has waked, has waked, and is at play;
The little sisters laugh and leap, and try
To climb the bed on which the infant lay.

And there he sits alone, and gayly shakes
In his full hands, the blossoms red and white,
And smiles with winking eyes, like one who wakes
From long deep slumbers at the morning light.


The incident on which this poem is founded was related to the author while in Europe, in a letter from an English lady. A child died in the south of Italy, and when they went to bury it they found it revived and playing with the flowers which, after the manner of that country, had been brought to grace its funeral.)

(The end)
William Cullen Bryant's poem: Child's Funeral

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The Battle-field The Battle-field

The Battle-field
Once this soft turf, this rivulet's sands, Were trampled by a hurrying crowd,And fiery hearts and armed hands Encountered in the battle cloud.Ah! I never shall the land forget How gushed the life-blood of her brave--Gushed, warm with hope and courage yet, Upon the soil they fought to save.Now all is calm, and fresh, and still, Alone the chirp of flitting bird,And talk of children on the hill, And bell of wandering kine are heard.No solemn host goes trailing by The black-mouthed gun and staggering wain;Men start not at the battle-cry, Oh, be it never heard again!Soon rested those who fought;

A Presentiment A Presentiment

A Presentiment
"Oh father, let us hence--for hark, A fearful murmur shakes the air.The clouds are coming swift and dark:-- What horrid shapes they wear!A winged giant sails the sky;Oh father, father, let us fly!""Hush, child; it is a grateful sound, That beating of the summer shower;Here the boughs hang close around, We'll pass a pleasant hour,Till the fresh wind, that brings the rain,Has swept the broad heaven clear again.""Nay, father, let us haste--for see, That horrid thing with horned brow,--His wings o'erhang this very tree, He scowls upon us now;His huge black arm is lifted high; Oh father, father, let us