Ella Wheeler Wilcox

After (After the end that is drawing near)

After the end that is drawing near
   Comes, and I no more see your face
Worn with suffering, lying here,
   What shall I do with the empty place?

You are so weary, that if I could
   I would not hinder, I would not keep
The great Creator of all things good,
   From giving his own beloved sleep.

But over and over I turn this thought.
   After they bear you away to the tomb,
And banish the glasses, and move the cot,
   What shall I do with the empty room?

And when you are lying at rest, my own,
   Hidden away in the grass and flowers,
And I listen in vain for your sigh and moan,
   What shall I do with the silent hours?

O God! O God! in the great To Be
   What canst Thou give me to compensate
For the terrible silence, the vacancy,
   Grim, and awful, and desolate?

Passing away, my beautiful one,
   Out of the old life into the new.
But when it is over, and all is done,
   God of the Merciful, what shall I do?

Sweetest of slumber, and soundest rest,
   No more sorrow, and no more gloom.
I am quite contented, and all is best,--
   But the empty bed--and the silent room!

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