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Sidney Lanier
Sidney Lanier

Died September 7, 1881
The Southwind brought a voice; was it of bird?
Or faint-blown reed? or string that quivered long?
A haunting voice that woke into a song
Sweet as a child’s low laugh, or lover’s word.
We listened idly till it grew and stirred
With throbbing chords of joy, of love, of wrong;
A mighty music, resonant and strong;
Our hearts beat higher for that voice far-heard.
The Southwind brought a shadow, purple-dim,
It swept across the warm smile of the sun;
A sudden shiver passed on field and wave;
The grasses grieved along the river’s brim.
We knew the voice was silent, the song done;
We knew the shadow smote across a grave.

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