Walter James Redfern Turner

Death

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When I am dead a few poor souls shall grieve
As I grieved for my brother long ago.
Scarce did my eyes grow dim,
I had forgotten him;
I was far-off hearing the spring-winds blow,
And many summers burned
When, though still reeling with my eyes aflame,
I heard that faded name
Whispered one Spring amid the hurrying world
From which, years gone, he turned.

I looked up at my windows and I saw
The trees, thin spectres sucked forth by the moon.
The air was very still
Above a distant hill;
It was the hour of night's full silver moon.
'O are thou there my brother?' my soul cried;
And all the pale stars down bright rivers wept,
As my heart sadly crept
About the empty hills, bathed in that light
That lapped him when he died.

Ah! it was cold, so cold; do I not know
How dead my heart on that remembered day!
Clear in a far-away place
I see his delicate face
Just as he called me from my solitary play,
Giving into my hands a tiny tree.
We planted it in the dark, blossomless ground
Gravely, without a sound;
Then back I went and left him standing by
His birthday gift to me.

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Walter James Redfern Turner