Poetry of Kansas

The Spring Hill Cemetery

For fifty years we have laid them here;
    One by one___day by day;
Brothers and sisters and parents dear;
    Tenderly laid them away.
About each grave where the marble shaft
    Points above, we have gathered there;,
Bidding good-bye through the flowing team;
    Breathing a silent prayer,
    As one by one___day by day,
We silently, tenderly laid them away.
For fifty years___Ah, who was the first?
    The first to claim this bed of clay;
An Immigrant died at the camp one night
    And here they laid him away.
A babe was brought to rest by his side
    A mother soon by its side was laid
And the Reaper entered a home and took
    A sweet child as it played;
    And one by one day by day,
We silently, tenderly laid them away.
Years have flown___like the sheaves of grain
    At set of sun on harvest day;
The shafts now stand our eyes to greet
    Where the Reaper's blade held sway.
Not with a rush as of "armored hosts
    Come. the gleaner bold who tents this field"___
But a gentle touch where our loved may be
    And one by one they yield;
    And one by one day by day,
We silently, tenderly lay them away.
Yes, one by one and day by day
    Shall we who live be garnered too,
And share with these this bed of clay
    When this fleeting life is through;
    Yes, babes unborn and the hoary heads;
The meek and the proud; the rich and the gay
With us shall come at the Reaper's call
    As the night must follow the day;
    And one by one___day by day
With us shall be tenderly laid away.

__Ed Blair.

Sunflower Siftings
Ed Blair
(Boston: The Gorham Press. 1914)
Pages 102-103

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April 20, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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