Cave Hill Cemetery

George Dennison Prentice

Here, whilst the twilight dews
Are softly gathering on the leaves and flowers,
I come, patriot dead, to muse
A few brief hours,

Hard by you, rank on rank,
Rise the sad evergreens, whose solemn forms
Are dark as if they only drank
The thunder-storms.

Through the thick leaves around
The low, wild winds their dirge-like music pour,
Like the far ocean's solemn sound,
On its lone shore.

From all the air a sigh,
Dirge-like and soul-like, melancholy, wild,
Comes like a mother's wailing cry
O'er her dead child.

Yonder, a little way,
Where mounds rise thick like surges on the sea,
Those whom ye met in fierce array
Sleep dreamlessly.

The same soft breezes sing,
The same birds chant their spirit-requiem,
The same sad flowers their fragrance fling
O'er you and them.

And pilgrims oft will grieve
Alike o'er Northern and o'er Southern dust.
And both to God's great mercy leave
In equal trust.

Oh, ye and they, as foes,
Will meet no more, but calmly take your rest,
The meek hands folded in repose
On each still breast.

No marble columns rear
Their shafts to blazon each dead hero's name,
Yet well, oh, well, ye slumber here,
Great sons of fame!

The dead as free will start
From the unburdened as the burdened sod,
And stand as pure in soul and heart
Before their God.

The poet, George Denison Prentice is himself buried in Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville.He was a supporter of the Confederacy in the Civil War.

A portion of Cave Hill Cemetery contains Confederate dead. A Confederate flag still flies over this part of the cemetery.