“The Bird at the Greenwood” by Edna Dean Proctor

From the grave of a lovely maiden
A white cross upward sprung,
And aloft on the carvèd marble
A Bird in the sunset sung.

The sky was a dome of glory
As the sun dropped down in the sea,
And the dusk of the purple shadows
Fell over the graves and me.

And winds from the meadows blowing,
Whispered and died away,
But the Bird sang on in the stillness
Of the slowly waning day.

Sweet as the hymns of angels
Floating the valley o’er,
Were the notes the twilight zephyrs
Down from the white cross bore;

And the loved ones slept no longer
Under the daisied green,
But smiled in immortal beauty
The radiant clouds between.

Sorrow and parting over,
Lover and maid were there,
And the mother pressed to her bosom
The babe with its golden hair;

While the Bird sang louder, clearer,
A rich, exulting lay,
Till the evening shades grew darker,
And the vision passed away.

Then the Singer with silent pinion
Up from the white cross flew,
Over the slumbering ocean,
Into the deepening blue.

Perhaps in a swaying willow
It sought its sheltered nest,
And, lulled by the leafy murmur,
Stooped to delicious rest.

Perhaps–by the latest crimson
That lingered along the strand,
Over the fading sunset
It soared to the Deathless Land.

Edna Dean Proctor

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