Today 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.
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.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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