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

Comments (1)

Whitman had a boundless interest in the self- especially his self but to be fair it was an interest in all the selves in the world. Most of his poetry use the first person- using the pronoun I- - but that doesn't mean he is only speaking of himself. He believes his self- your self- -my self- - contain everything and everyone. He wants to bring down the boundaries between us and our selves and the boundaries between us and nature. Why not when you believe each person can carry the entire world within him.