A LAST VISIT
High above the greening woodlands,
In the alpine mountainlands,
Sat a tiny village church where
Dappled shadows lay in bands,
Sheltering the humble building
Where I passed one fleeting day,
Up the grassy slopes and hillside
To the clearing where it lay.
And inside, sweet hymns were floating
To the altar and the aisle,
Sung by unseen ghostly voices,
Hymn books rustled for a while,
Yellow pages, worn and battered,
Trembling in the cooling air,
And the stained-glass picture windows
Shone arched rainbows everywhere.
And when all was still and quiet
I moved out, and felt the breeze
Curling round the blooming flowers,
Bustling through the leafy trees.
All lay silent in the churchyard,
Each grave decked with blossoms bright,
And between them grew small snowdrops,
Heads bowed low with petals white.
And at one new grave two snowdrops
Stood and leaned, as if in prayer.
Both so small, but both so splendid,
As their forms shone everywhere.
Here I paused, leaned o’er, and softly
Read the name upon the stone.
Yet I felt no shock or wonder,
For I knew it was my own.