Poe's Gravestone

By George Sterling

"... old friends and the school children of Richmond. . . .
asked those great men of Boston, who had been Poe's
contemporaries, . . . . to join in commemorating his memory.
These invitations were either ignored or they were not
accepted .... Lowell .... Bryant .... Whittier ....
Longfellow . . . ."

The very tomb shall cover not the shame
    Of those that would have bound thy wings of light!
    Toiling for Beauty in the quiet night,
Little to thee were primacy or name;
But now thy star is found a holy flame
    In heavens unpermitted to their flight—
    Unseen by those who have not in their sight
The slowly guttering candles of their fame.

Puritanism's grey and icy ooze
    Was rheum in those inexorable eyes,
        That would not see wherein thy greatness stood.
The meager honor that they dared refuse
    Was earth's, O thou that followed to the skies
        Beauty, whose final goal is human good.

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