Wife To Husband

If I am dust while thou art quick and glad,
Bethink thee, sometimes, what good cheer we had, —
What happy days beside the shining seas,
Or by the twilight fire in careless ease,
Reading the rhymes of some old poet lover,
Or whispering our own love-story over.

When thou hast mourned for me a fitting space,
And set another in my vacant place,
Charmed with her brightness, trusting in her truth,
Warmed to new life by her beguiling youth,
Be happy, dearest one, and surely know
I would not have thee thy life's joys forego.

Yet think of me sometimes, where cold and still
I lie, who once was swift to do thy will,
Whose lips so often answered to thy kiss,
Who dying blessed thee for that bygone bliss, —
I pray thee do not bar my presence, quite,
From thy new life, so full of new delight.

I would not vex thee, waiting by thy side;
My shadow should not chill thy fair young bride;
Only bethink thee how alone I lie! —
To die and be forgotten were to die
A double death; and I deserve of thee
Some grace of memory, fair howe'er she be.
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