The Vale of Tears
I know a vale whose calm repose
In whispers tells of vanished years;
This valley ’neath the frowning hills
I call the Vale of Tears.
A gem of God’s best fashioning,
Set quaintly in its rugged base,
’Twas surely made to hold my all
Within its sweet embrace.
And far removed from worldly strife
It is — a sacred presence fills
With holy peace this graveyard small
Beneath the beetling hills.
In memory once again I kneel
Before a simple wooden cross,
Round which the violets fondly cling,
And hangs the drooping moss.
Dear Heart that vanished in its dawn,
Thrice holy is this mound to me —
The simple cross, the violets,
Are planted over thee!
William Blocksidge, Songs o’ the South, London: Watts, 1908, pp. 37-38
beetling = prominent (usually used regarding eyebrows, rocks, or rock formations); extending outwards, jutting out, overhanging (from beetle-browed, i.e. having heavy overhanging eyebrows)
’neath = (vernacular) beneath
thee = (archaic) you
’twas = (archaic) a contraction of “it was”
vale = valley