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Oliver Goldsmith’s Grave

By W. A. Mackenzie

WITH Youth’s unconquerable eye
I watch the flux of Life go by,
    Where foam the floods of Strand and Fleet ;
And like the hum of mighty looms,
Upon my country ear there booms
    The diapason of the street.

Accustomed long to cheep and twit
Of robin, sparrow, wren, and tit,
    And call of throstles in the may,
‘Tis all so strange I turn aside,
Sick of the hoarse and hungry tide,
    To try the Temple’s quieter way.

In a grey alley, still and lone,
I stumble o’er a lichened stone,
    Whereon four simple words are writ :
Our Noll sleeps gloriously below—
A joyous sleep, with dreams like snow,
    The muffled street-sounds soothing it.

                                                I know

                        248 “Here Lies Oliver Goldsmith”

I know The Traveller bade them lay
Anigh the street his weary clay,
    Because he saw in all things good,
And heard above the thundering street
The brave young Lark that singeth sweet
    Of helping hands and brotherhood.

He knew what it is good to know,
When down the Dale o’ Dreams we go—
    That living brothers still are near ;
And some struck sore in battle-test
Come to our side, a moment rest,
    Then back to buffet with a cheer.

Ah, Noll, thou singest yet, though dead,
A song that calms our coward dread
    Of Life and Life’s benumbing din.
With larger faith I turn me back
To where the stream runs strong and black,
    And, greatly hoping, plunge me in.

MLA citation:

Mackenzie, W. A. “Oliver Goldsmith’s Grave.” The Yellow Book, vol. 5, April 1895, pp. 247-248. Yellow Book Digital Edition, edited by Dennis Denisoff and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2010-2014. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2019.