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Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

A Burial

To-day I had a burial of my dead.
   There was no shroud, no coffin, and no pall,
No prayers were uttered and no tears were shed--
   I only turned a picture to the wall.

A picture that had hung within my room
   For years and years; a relic of my youth.
It kept the rose of love in constant bloom
   To see those eyes of earnestness and truth.

At hours wherein no other dared intrude,
   I had drawn comfort from its smiling grace.
Silent companion of my solitude,
   My soul held sweet communion with that face.

I lived again the dream so bright, so brief,
   Though wakened as we all are by some Fate;
This picture gave me infinite relief,
   And did not leave me wholly desolate.

To-day I saw an item, quite by chance,
   That robbed me of my pitiful poor dole:
A marriage notice fell beneath my glance,
   And I became a lonely widowed soul.

With drooping eyes, and cheeks a burning flame,
   I turned the picture to the blank walls gloom.
My very heart had died in me of shame,
   If I had left it smiling in my room.

Another womans husband. So, my friend,
   My comfort, my sole relic of the past,
I bury thee, and, lonely, seek the end.
   Swift age has swept my youth from me at last.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox's other poems:
  1. The Birth of the Opal
  2. The Chain
  3. At Forty-Eight
  4. Artist and Man
  5. As by Fire

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