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A Last Request poem – Alfred Austin


Let not the roses lie

Too thickly tangled round my tomb,

Lest fleecy clouds that skim the summer sky,

Flinging their faint soft shadows, pass it by,

And know not over whom.

And let not footsteps come

Too frequent round that nook of rest;

Should I-who knoweth?-not be deaf, though dumb,

Bird’s idle pipe, or bee’s laborious hum,

Would suit me, listening, best.

And, pray you, do not hew

Words to provoke a smile or sneer;

But only carve-at least if they be true-

These simple words, or some such, and as few,

“He whom we loved lies here.”

And if you only could

Find out some quite sequestered slope

That, girt behind with undeciduous wood,

In front o’erlooks the ocean-then I should

Die with a calmer hope.

And if you will but so

This last request of mine fulfil,

I rest your debtor for the final throw

And if I can but help you where I go,

Be sure, fond friends, I will.


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