by: Ella Wheeler Wilcox
- ODAY 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 wall's gloom.
- My very heart had died in me of shame,
- If I had left it smiling in my room.
- Another woman's 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.
MORE POEMS BY ELLA WHEELER WILCOX
"A Burial" is reprinted
from Yesterdays. Ella Wheeler Wilcox. London: Gay &