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  Burial Of Sarah  

 

He stood before the sons of Heth,
     And bowed his sorrowing head;
"I've come," he said, "to buy a place
     Where I may lay my dead.

"I am a stranger in your land,
     My home has lost its light;
Grant me a place where I may lay
     My dead away from sight."

Then tenderly the sons of Heth
     Gazed on the mourner's face,
And said, "Oh, Prince, amid our dead,
     Choose thou her resting-place.

"The sepulchres of those we love,
     We place at thy command;
Against the plea thy grief hath made
     We close not heart nor hand."

The patriarch rose and bowed his head,
     And said, "One place I crave;
'Tis at the end of Ephron's field,
     And called Machpelah's cave.

"Entreat him that he sell to me
     For her last sleep that cave;
I do not ask for her I loved
     The freedom of a grave."

The son of Zohar answered him,
     "Hearken, my lord, to me;
Before our sons, the field and cave
     I freely give to thee."

"I will not take it as a gift,"
     The grand old man then said;
"I pray thee let me buy the place
     Where I may lay my dead."

And with the promise in his heart,
     His seed should own that land,
He gave the shekels for the field
     He took from Ephron's hand.

And saw afar the glorious day
     His chosen seed should tread,
The soil where he in sorrow lay
     His loved and cherished dead.

       - Frances E. W. Harper


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