I GAZED upon the glorious sky
And the green mountains round
And thought that when I came to lie
At rest within the ground
'T were pleasant that in flowery June 5
When brooks send up a cheerful tune
And groves a joyous sound
The sexton's hand my grave to make
The rich green mountain-turf should break.
A cell within the frozen mould 10
A coffin borne through sleet
And icy clods above it rolled
While fierce the tempests beat¡ª
Away!¡ªI will not think of these¡ª
Blue be the sky and soft the breeze 15
Earth green beneath the feet
And be the damp mould gently pressed
Into my narrow place of rest.
There through the long long summer hours
The golden light should lie 20
And thick young herbs and groups of flowers
Stand in their beauty by.
The oriole should build and tell
His love-tale close beside my cell;
The idle butterfly 25
Should rest him there and there be heard
The housewife bee and humming-bird.
And what if cheerful shouts at noon
Come from the village sent
Or song of maids beneath the moon 30
With fairy laughter blent?
And what if in the evening light
Betroth¨¨d lovers walk in sight
Of my low monument?
I would the lovely scene around 35
Might know no sadder sight nor sound.
I know that I no more should see
The season's glorious show
Nor would its brightness shine for me
Nor its wild music flow; 40
But if around my place of sleep
The friends I love should come to weep
They might not haste to go.
Soft airs and song and light and bloom
Should keep them lingering by my tomb.
These to their softened hearts should bear
The thought of what has been
And speak of one who cannot share
The gladness of the scene;
Whose part in all the pomp that fills 50
The circuit of the summer hills
Is that his grave is green;
And deeply would their hearts rejoice
To hear again his living voice.
William Cullen Bryant
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