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The Poetical Works of Elizabeth Margaret Chandler/The Grave of The Unfortunate

The Grave of The UnfortunateEdit

Light fall the early dews of even, and out upon the air
The cereus flowers fling lavishly the fragrance that they bear;
One star, of all the eyes of heaven, is yet alone awake,
And sends abroad its prying glance to gaze on bower and lake.

Come bid the silent lute breathe out a low and mournful strain,
A sad and tearful melody, a wailing for the slain;
And as the notes glide far away, I'll tell thee how one died,
Who sleeps in quiet loneliness, forgotten, by thy side.

The weary slave had left his toil;—it was an eve like this,
But to his heart its loveliness would bring no throb of bliss;
He only thought of former days, when she who shared his chains
Had roved in freedom by his side, amid their native plains.

A cry of anguish caught his ear—in shrieks she breathed his name,
And forward to his cot he sprung with heart and pulse of flame;
Amid her weeping babes she knelt, and o'er her crouching head
The white man's lash in mockery swung, all newly stain'd with red.

One blow has fell'd him to the earth—one blow alone was lent,
And from the cot in rage and shame the tyrant master went;
But for that blow a felon's death the Afric chieftain died,
And here, forgot by all but her, he slumbers by thy side.