In the crisp air of the massive mausoleum,
Crowded with ash tombs and crypts,
Roundabout the columns, looped and blazoned
With their arches of ivy,
In soft stillness, we bend and weep.
Pouring out the slow, monumental grief
To the sweet sound of bell-whispers of tears
Against the marble wall,
Where we have pressed our lips
And leaned our heads,
Drinking from the bronze plates anchored there,
As if some last hint of life were hiding
Behind the seals,
Seeping from the wall's cold width.
But what flows toward the ash garden,
Over the deep, green ground, is hope we cannot see;
For the heart has a spring and a smile all its own,
And tears are not always shed so grievously,
For that we find it fitting to wear the joy
With a sad countenance,
By far, our silence is our gravest part,
And there is something beautiful
About a sadness that never dies.
And blinded by ill and agony, we stammer
Through dark recessionals
And crown our honored dead
With the last outward measure of love
Before moving on...
Before mourning and melancholy,
Before the pelting pain,
The gloomy indifference to life,
And the great gladness of remembrance...
In the grey oasis of epitaphs,
Bright tears hang in the trumpet-headed lilies.