"Until Her Death"
UNTIL her death!" the words read strange yet real,
Like things afar off suddenly brought near:--
Will it be slow or speedy, full of fear,
Or calm as a spent day of peace ideal?
Will her brown locks lie white on coffin pillow?
Will these her eyes, that sometime were called sweet,
Close, after years of dried-up tears, or meet
Death's dust in midst of weeping? And that billow,--
Her restless heart,--will it be stopped, still heaving?
Or softly ebb 'neath age's placid breath?
Will it be lonely, this mysterious death,
Fit close unto her solitary living,--
A turning of her face to the wall, nought spoken,
Exchanging this world's light for heaven's;--or will
She part in pain, from warm love to the chill
Unknown, pursued with cries of hearts half-broken?
With fond lips felt through the blind mists of dying,
And close arms clung to in the struggle vain;--
Or, these all past, will death to her be gain,
Unto her life's long question God's replying?
No more. Within his hand, divine as tender,
He holds the mystic measure of her days;
And be they few or many, His the praise,--
In life or death her Keeper and Defender.
Then, come He soon or late, she will not fear Him;
Be her end lone or loveful, she'll not grieve;
For He whom she believed in--doth believe--
Will call her from the dust, and she will hear Him.