(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)

A Burial

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.

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.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Other poems of WHEELER WILCOX (563)

Comments (13)

A touching account of distress after realization of one's bygone youth has been intensely unveiled through this marvelous life song.
How sad for her to have found the marriage announcement of a former friend or flame. She feels she lost the last remaining relic of her youth. So much for her association with the past. A very well-written poem of loss, and having to let something go.
To what end it comes to all and the mirror on the wall, that tells no lies.
A lonely widowed soul! ! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
Interesting poem on the subject. Very well thought.
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