Charles and Mary

I hear their voices still: the stammering one
Struggling with some absurdity of jest;
Her quiet words that puzzle and protest
Against the latest outrage of his fun.
So wise, so simple—has she never guessed
That through his laughter, love and terror run?
For when her trouble came, and darkness pressed,
He smiled, and fought her madness with a pun.
Through all those years it was his task to keep
Her gentle heart serenely mystified.
If Fate's an artist, this should be his pride—
When, in that Christmas season, he lay dead,
She innocently looked. “I always said
That Charles is really handsome when asleep.”
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