Stephen Vincent Benet


Lonely Burial


There were not many at that lonely place, 
Where two scourged hills met in a little plain. 
The wind cried loud in gusts, then low again. 
Three pines strained darkly, runners in a race 
Unseen by any. Toward the further woods 
A dim harsh noise of voices rose and ceased. 
-- We were most silent in those solitudes -- 
Then, sudden as a flame, the black-robed priest, 

The clotted earth piled roughly up about 
The hacked red oblong of the new-made thing, 
Short words in swordlike Latin -- and a rout 
Of dreams most impotent, unwearying. 
Then, like a blind door shut on a carouse, 
The terrible bareness of the soulís last house.






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