Literary New Orleans, #4

In Louisiana
by Albert Bigelow Paine

The long, gray moss that softly swings
  In solemn grandeur from the trees,
  Like mournful funeral draperies,–
A brown-winged bird that never sings.

A shallow, stagnant, inland sea,
  Where rank swamp grasses wave, and where
  A deadliness lurks in the air,–
A sere leaf falling silently.

The death-like calm on every hand,
  That one might deem it sin to break,
  So pure, so perfect,–these things make
The mournful beauty of this land.

(1900)


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