I dreamed last night, that I myself did lay
Within the grave, and after stood and wept,
My spirit sorrowed where its ashes slept!
'Twas a strange dream, and yet methinks it may
Prefigure that which is akin to truth.
How sorrow we o'er perished dreams of youth,
High hopes and aspirations doomed to be
Crushed and o'er mastered by earth's destiny!
Fame, that the spirit loathing turns to ruth—
And that deluding faith so loth to part,
That earth will shrine for us one kindred heart!
Oh,'tis the ashes of such things that wring
Tears from the eyes-hopes like to these depart,
And we bow down in dread o'ershadowed by death's-wing!

More verses by Elizabeth Oakes Smith