NATURE'S EPITAPH - John Boyle O'Reilly Poems


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Who knows where the graveyard is
     Where the fox and the eagle lie?
Who has seen the obsequies
     Of the red deer when they die?

With death they steal away
     Out of the sight of the sun;
Out of the sight of the living, they
     Pay the debt and are done.

No marble marks the place;
     The common forest brown
Covers them over with Quaker grace
     Just where they laid them down.

But a few years, if you see
     In summer a deeper green
Here and there, it is like to be
     The spot where their bones have been.

Thus, not more, to the poor dead year:
     No grave, nor ghostly stone,
But a greener life and a warmer cheer
     Be the only sign that he's gone.