For He Had Great Possessions
Poem By Dora Sigerson Shorter
And I had died before the spring had come,
When winter's kiss upon the fields was cold,
And no small seed had broken up the land,
Then had I died, whose earthly hours were told.
I should have liked to see the snowdrop rise,
And pressed my lips upon the primrose bowl,
To see the thousand spear-heads of new grass,
But death had called to my half-willing soul.
And as I passed there came the sound of tears,
Disturbing me and dropping o'er my face;
I could not plead for mercy from their grief
With 'Stay thy tears that chill my resting-place.'
But I returned, in pity for their lot,
Stood by my bed to see my kindred there;
About my house I heard their footsteps go,
Finding my goods and seeking each his share.
My desk, my shelf, my very roof-tree's shade
They sought for long, and o'er my lands did stray,
And then returned and by my corpse knelt down
With folded hands to murmur, 'Let us pray.'
And as they bent by the mysterious dead,
Naked of all, from all possessions free,
I saw each face—and went new worlds to meet,
For what was I to them, or they to me?