Dana by Paul H. Hayne
O deep grave eyes! that long have seemed to gaze
On our low level from far loftier days,
O grand gray head! an aureole seemed to grind,
Drawn from the spirit's pure, immaculate rays!
At length death's signal sounds! From weary eyes
Pass the pale phantoms of our earth and skies;
The gray head droops; the museful lips are closed
On life's vain questionings and more vain replies!
Like some gaunt oak wert thou, that lonely stands
'Mid fallen trunks in outworn, desert lands;
Still sound at core, with rhythmic leaves that stir
To soft swift touches of aerial hands.
Ah! long we viewed thee thus, forlornly free,
In that dead grove the sole unravished tree;
Lo! the dark axeman smites! the oak lies low
That towered in lonely calm o'er land and sea!