Learn More

Edith Wharton

(24 January 1862 – 11 August 1937 / New York City / United States)

A Grave


Though life should come
With all its marshalled honours, trump and drum,
To proffer you the captaincy of some
Resounding exploit, that shall fill
Man’s pulses with commemorative thrill,
And be a banner to far battle days
For truths unrisen upon untrod ways,
What would your answer be,
O heart once brave?
Seek otherwhere; for me,
I watch beside a grave.

Though to some shining festival of thought
The sages call you from steep citadel
Of bastioned argument, whose rampart gained
Yields the pure vision passionately sought,
In dreams known well,
But never yet in wakefulness attained,
How should you answer to their summons, save:
I watch beside a grave?

Though Beauty, from her fane within the soul
Of fire-tongued seers descending,
Or from the dream-lit temples of the past
With feet immortal wending,
Illuminate grief’s antre swart and vast
With half-veiled face that promises the whole
To him who holds her fast,
What answer could you give?
Sight of one face I crave,
One only while I live;
Woo elsewhere; for I watch beside a grave.

Though love of the one heart that loves you best,
A storm-tossed messenger,
Should beat its wings for shelter in your breast,
Where clung its last year’s nest,
The nest you built together and made fast
Lest envious winds should stir,
And winged each delicate thought to minister
With sweetness far-amassed
To the young dreams within—
What answer could it win?
The nest was whelmed in sorrow’s rising wave,
Nor could I reach one drowning dream to save;
I watch beside a grave.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (A Grave by Edith Wharton )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. The Saddest Poem, Pablo Neruda
  4. Leisure, William Henry Davies
  5. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  7. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  9. A Life-Lesson, James Whitcomb Riley
  10. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost

Poem of the Day

poet James Whitcomb Riley

There! little girl; don't cry!
They have broken your doll, I know;
And your tea-set blue,
And your play-house, too,
Are things of the long ago;
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. For Kira, Michael P. McParland
  2. Headache, Akhil Zoomin
  3. An Objectivist, Akhil Zoomin
  4. Today Has An Edge Like A Razor, Kyle Schlicher
  5. To her...., PARTHA SARATHI PAUL
  6. Sunset Couple Time, Saiom Shriver
  7. Waiting On Nothing, Kyle Schlicher
  8. Cut Myself While Shaving, Kyle Schlicher
  9. The Basket Weavers, Holly Wotherspoon
  10. Eternal Life, Michael P. McParland
[Hata Bildir]