Italy – Giorno Dei Morti

ALONG the avenue of cypresses,

All in their scarlet capes, and surplices Of linen, go the chanting choristers,

The priests in gold and black, the villagers.

And all along the path to the cemetery

The dark, round heads of the men crowd silently,

And black-scarved faces of women-folk, wistfully

Watch at the banner of death, at the mystery

And at the foot of a grave a father stands

With sunk, bowed head, and forgotten, folded hands ;

And by the side of a grave a woman kneels With still, rapt face, and neither hears nor feels

The coming of the many villagers Along the avenue of cypresses,

The chanting of the scarlet choristers, The candle-flames beside the surplices.