Virginia Lucas Poetry Scrapbook

"The Grave" by James Montgomery

Transcription of the Poem

There is a calm for those who weep, 
A rest for weary pilgrims found, 
They softly lie and sweetly sleep 
                      Low in the ground. 

The storm that wrecks the winter sky
No one disturbs their deep repose, 
Than summer evening’s latest sigh
                    That shuts the rose.

I long to lay this painful head
And aching heart beneath the soil,
To slumber in that dreamless bed
                    From all my toil.

For misery stole me at my birth,
And cast me helpless on the wild: 
I perish- O my mother earth!
                    Take home thy child!

On thy dear lap this limbs reclined, 
Shall gently moulder into thee,
Nor leave one wretched trace behind
                    Resembling me. 

Hark!-a strange sound affrights
    mine ear;
My pulse, my brain runs wild-I rave;
Ah! who art thou whose voice I hear?
                    “I am the Grave.”

The Grave, that never spake before,
Hath found at length a tongue to chide: 
O listen!-I will speak no more:
                    Be silent, pride!

Art thou a wretch, of hope forlorn 
The victim of consuming care?
Is thy distracted conscience torn
                    By fell despair?

Do foul misdeeds of former times
Wring with remorse thy guilty breast?
And ghosts of unforgiven crimes
                    Murder thy rest.

Lashed by the furies of the mind, 
From wrath and vengeance wouldst
    thou flee?
Ah! think not, hope not, fool to find
                     A friend in me. 

By all the terrors of the tomb,
Beyond the power of tongue to tell!
By the dread secrets of my womb!
                    By Death and Hell!

I charge thee Live, repent and pray;
In dust thine infamy deplore;
There yet is mercy; go thy way,
                    And sin no more

Art thou a mourner? Hast thou known
The joy of innocent delights? 
Endearing days forever flown,
                    And tranquil nights? 

O Live and deeply cherish still 
The sweet remembrance of the past:
Rely on Heaven’s unchanging will
                    For peace at last.

Art thou a wanderer? Hast thou seen
O'erwhelming tempests drown thy bark
A shipwrecked sufferer hast thou been
                    Misfortune’s mark?

Tho’ long of winds and waves the sport,
Condemned in wretchedness to roam,
Live- thou shalt reach a sheltering port 
                    A quiet home.

To friendship didst thou trust thy fame,
And was thy friend a deadly foe,
Who stole into thy breast to aim
                    A surer blow? 

Go seek that treasure, seldom found,
Of power the fiercest griefs to calm,
And sooth the bosom’s deepest wound
                    With heavenly balm. 

Live! and repine not o’er his loss,
A loss unworthy to be told:
Thou hast mistaken sordid dross
                    For friendship’s gold.

In woman hast thou placed thy bliss
And did the fair one faithless prove?
Hath she betrayed thee with a kiss, 
                    And sold thy love?

Live! Twas a false bewildering fire:
Too often love’s insidious dart
Thrills the fond soul with sweet desire 
                    But kills the heart. 

A nobler flame shall warm thy breast, 
A brighter maiden’s virtuous charms!
Blest shall thou be, supremely blest
                    In beauty’s arms.

-Whate'er thy lot-whoe’er thou be,-
Confess thy folly,-kiss the rod,
And in thy chastening sorrows see
                    The hand of God

A bruised reed he will not break;
Afflictions all his children feel;
He wounds them for his mercy’s sake,
                    The wounds to heal!

Humbled beneath his mighty hand,
Prostrate his Providence adore:
’Tis done!—Arise! He bids thee stand,
                    To fall no more.

Now, traveller in the vale of tears!
To realms of everlasting light, 
Through Time’s dark wilderness of years;
                    Pursue thy flight.

There is a calm for those who weep;
A rest for weary pilgrims found; 
And while the mouldering ashes sleep
                    Low in the ground;

The soul of origin divine, 
God’s glorious image, freed from clay,
In Heaven’s eternal sphere shall shine,
                    A star of day.

The sun is but a spark of fire, 
A transient meteor in the sky;
The soul, immortal as its Sire
                    Shall never die.

        James Montgomery 
Information about this poem

Biography of James Montgomery 

Formal Description of the Poem 

Explication of the Poem 

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