I believe if I should die,
by Mary Ashley Townsend
And you should kiss my eyelids when I lie
Cold, dead, and dumb to all the world contains,
The folded orbs would open at thy breath,
And, from its exile in the isles of death,
Life would come gladly back along my veins.
I believe if I were dead,
And you upon my lifeless heart should tread,
Not knowing what the poor clod chanced to be,
It would find sudden pulse beneath the touch
Of him it ever loved in life so much,
And throb again- warm, tender, true to thee.
I believe if on my grave,
Hidden in woody depths or by the wave,
Your eyes should drop some warm tears of regret,
From every salty seed of your dear grief
Some fair, sweet blossom would leap into leaf
To prove death could not make my love forget.
I believe if I should fade,
Into those mystic realms where light is made,
And you should long once more my face to see,
I would come forth upon the hill of night
And gather stars, like fagots, till thy sight,
Led by their beacon blaze, fell full on me.
I believe my faith in thee,
Strong as my life, so nobly placed to be,
I would as soon expect to see the sun
Fall like a dead king from his height sublime,
His glory stricken from the throne of time,
As thee unworthy the worship thou hast won.
I believe who hath not loved
Hath half the sweetness of his life unproved;
Like one who, with the grape within his grasp,
Drops it with all its crimson juices unpressed,
And all its luscious sweetness left unguessed,
Out from his careless and unheeding clasp.
I believe love, pure and true,
Is to the soul a sweet, immortal dew
That gems life's petals in its hours of dusk.
The waiting angels see and recognize
The rich crown jewel, Love, of Paradise
When life falls from us like a withered husk.