The Mission Graves

By Nora May French

 By man forgotten,
Nature remembers, with her fitful tears.
The wooden slabs lose name and date with years,
 And crumble, rotten.

 The Padre there,
One Saint's day, from an evening rite returning,
Set for each unknown soul a candle burning,
 With muttered prayer.

 Glow-worms, they shone—
Strange, spectral-gleaming through the lonely dark.
Whose nameless dust did each faint glimmer mark—
 Skull, crumbling bone?

 Ah, the Dead knew!
The grateful Dead, far-called from voids of space,
Each by the tiny spark that gave him grace,
 Watched, the night through.