When last I saw her, all cold and white,1
On her maiden bed extended,2
It seemed to me that with the light3
Of her life my own was ended.4
It seemed to me that I could not bear5
The burden of life without her ;6
To see the sunshine, to feel the air7
That could never more play about her8
Lovingly play round her lovely head,9
Giving fond and playful kisses,10
Making the rose on her cheek more red,11
Stirring her sun-gilt tresses.12
I felt as though I could never bear13
The ceaseless pain and pressure14
Of endless days, when she might not share15
One sorrow of mine, or pleasure.16
Stark and pallid and cold she lay,17
Not she—the soul-warmed woman18
But the dreadful frigid image of clay19
That with her had nothing in common.20
Among the flowers about the bier21
I noted a large-eyed blossom,22
That looked at me through a dewy tear23
As it lay on her lifeless bosom.24
A large white daisy. I kissed its face,25
In her cold dead hand I laid it,26
And I bid it nevermore leave that place,27
Though the breath of the grave should fade it.28
I fancied that she would feel it there,29
And that when she was in heaven,30
She would send me a sign that the bond which here31
So bound us should not be riven.32
Perhaps a childish and wild belief ;33
But when in some hopeless sorrow34
That rejects all thought of a common relief,35
The heart is fain to borrow36
From the realms of fancy some hope, some dream,37
It may be some superstition,38
That, however childish or wild, will seem39
Like a real Heaven-sent vision.40
And so with me. When the friendly night41
O’er my sleepless pillow lingers,42
Yon star, I think, is the daisy white43
I placed in her lifeless fingers.44