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A Mountain Grave

by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Why fear to die
And let thy body lie
Under the flowers of June,
  Thy body food
  For the ground-worms' brood
And thy grave smiled on by the visiting moon.

Amid great Nature's halls
Girt in by mountain walls
And washed with waterfalls
It would please me to die,
  Where every wind that swept my tomb
  Goes loaded with a free perfume
Dealt out with a God's charity.

I should like to die in sweets,
A hill's leaves for winding-sheets,
And the searching sun to see
That I am laid with decency.
And the commissioned wind to sing
His mighty psalm from fall to spring
And annual tunes commemorate
Of Nature's child the common fate.

Williamstown, Vermont, 1 June, 1831.


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