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Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1804-1864

On Visiting the Graves of Hawthorne and Thoreau

By Jones Very


[ Online editor's note: Jones Very (1813-1880) was a transcendentalist poet of Salem and Boston, praised by Emerson and Ellery Channing. He was insane enough to be locked up in McLean Hospital in 1838, after claiming his poems were a direct transmission from God. Hawthorne's future sister-in-law, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, knew him well from this time. This poem, copied from an anthology, bears no date, but must be from 1864 or after. ]


Beneath these shades, beside yon winding stream,
Lies Hawthorne's manly form, the mortal part!
The soul, that loved to meditate and dream,
Might linger here unwilling to depart,
But that a higher life has called away
To fairer scenes, to nobler work and thought.
Why should the spirit then on earth delay,
That has a glimpse of such bright regions caught!
And near another, Nature's child, doth rest,--
Thoreau, who loved each woodland path to tread;
So gently sleeping on his mother's breast!
Living, though numbered with the numerous dead.
We mourn! But hope will whisper in the heart,
We meet again and meet no more to part.

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