It lies dim and cold on the face of the mould,
Like a smile on the lips of the dead.
As chill and as white, as dense and as light
As the winding-sheet laid in the still of the night
Over the funeral bed.
No pulse seems to throb, no voice dares to sob
Beneath the grey calm of the cloud.
A hush holds the air with pale bands of despair,
Too close to be pierced by a curse or a prayer—
The hush of a soul in its shroud.
No stars in the sky; no lights low or high;
No laughter; no weeping no breath;
No murmur, no sound in the whole world around,
But a silence that lies blank and chill on the ground,
Like the visible presence of Death.
No murmur. No sound. Only white on the ground
There creeps the thin silence along—
Creeps near and more near,—oh, so dim! oh, so drear!
Till I shiver, as one who has stood by a bier,
And the words die away in my song.