BETA

To L. M. O.

Ah ! pure and lovely flower of maidenhood,1
Low rests thy head.2
On Earth’s cold breast, but not in holy rood3
Is thy dark bed.4
A few short hours life struggled with the foe,5
Whose icy chain6
Crept swift o’er heart and dainty limbs and brow,7
And stilled thy pain.8
Gold were thy tresses laid on softest snow,9
Thine eyes’ blue light10
Like morning skies, thy speech the rippling flow11
Of waters bright.12
Thy first true love given to thy childhood’s friend13
Hath all too soon,14
Bankrupt in joy, left him his way to wend15
Through life’s hot noon.16
Fast by the busy haunts of restless men17
Thou liest alone :18
Lover and friend are out of sight and ken19
Till time be done.20
Thou shouldst have lain ’neath thyme and heather flowers,21
Taking thy rest22
Where sunbeams fall, and holy moonlight showers23
On mountain crest.24
Or where the mists curl soft round fern and oak,25
And birches wave,26
Not under heavy pall of murk and smoke27
Should be thy grave.28
But here, belovèd, we must leave thy dust29
Beneath the sod,30
Thy soul through love ineffable we trust31
In Christ to God.32