I could not think of thee as piec├Ęd rot,

Yet such thou wert, for thou hadst been long dead;

Yet thou liv'dst entire in my seeing thought

And what thou wert in me had never fled.

Nay, I had fixed the moments of thy beauty--

Thy ebbing smile, thy kiss's readiness,

And memory had taught my heart the duty

To know thee ever at that deathlessness.

But when I came where thou wert laid, and saw

The natural flowers ignoring thee sans blame,

And the encroaching grass, with casual flaw,

Framing the stone to age where was thy name,

I knew not how to feel, nor what to be

Towards thy fate's material secrecy.