WESTMINSTER ABBEY - John Banister Tabb Poems


Poems » john banister tabb » westminster abbey


October 12, 1892

"Gib diesen Todten mir heraus." -- Don Carlos.

Bring me my dead!
To me that have grown
Stone laid upon stone,
As the stormy brood
Of English blood
Has waxed and spread
And filled the world,
With sails unfurled;
With men that may not lie;
With thoughts that cannot die.

Bring me my dead!
Into the storied hall,
Where I have garnered all
My harvest without weed;
My chosen fruits of seed;
And lay him gently down among
The men of state, the men of song;
The men that would not suffer wrong;
The thought-worn chieftains of the mind;
Head servants of the human kind.

Bring me my dead!
The autumn sun shall shed
Its beams athwart the bier's
Heaped blooms; a many tears
Shall flow; his words, in cadence sweet and strong,
Shall voice the full hearts of the silent throng.
Bring me my dead!

And oh! sad wedded mourner, seeking still
For vanished hand-clasp; drinking in thy fill
Of holy grief: forgive, that pious theft
Robs thee of all, save memories, left:
Not thine to kneel beside the grassy mound
While dies the western glow; and all around
Is silence; and the shadows closer creep
And whisper softly: All must fall asleep.