The little cousin is dead, by foul subtraction, A green bough from Virginia's aged tree, And none of the county kin like the transaction, Nor some of the world of outer dark, like me.
A boy not beautiful, nor good, nor clever, A black cloud full of storms too hot for keeping, A sword beneath his mother's heart—yet never Woman bewept her babe as this is weeping.
A pig with a pasty face, so I had said, Squealing for cookies, kinned by poor pretense With a noble house. But the little man quite dead, I see the forbears' antique lineaments.
The elder men have strode by the box of death To the wide flag porch, and muttering low send round The bruit of the day. O friendly waste of breath! Their hearts are hurt with a deep dynastic wound.
He was pale and little, the foolish neighbors say; The first-fruits, saith the Preacher, the Lord hath taken; But this was the old tree's late branch wrenched away, Grieving the sapless limbs, the short and shaken.