757. Maritae Suae

William Philpot. 1823-1889


OF all the flowers rising now,
  Thou only saw'st the head
Of that unopen'd drop of snow
  I placed beside thy bed.

In all the blooms that blow so fast,
  Thou hast no further part,
Save those the hour I saw thee last,
  I laid above thy heart.

Two snowdrops for our boy and girl,
  A primrose blown for me,
Wreathed with one often-play'd-with curl
  From each bright head for thee.

And so I graced thee for thy grave,
  And made these tokens fast
With that old silver heart I gave,
  My first gift--and my last.


I dream'd, her babe upon her breast,
Here she might lie and calmly rest
Her happy eyes on that far hill
That backs the landscape fresh and still.

I hoped her thoughts would thrid the boughs
Where careless birds on love carouse,
And gaze those apple-blossoms through
To revel in the boundless blue.

But now her faculty of sight
Is elder sister to the light,
And travels free and unconfined
Through dense and rare, through form and mind.

Or else her life to be complete
Hath found new channels full and meet--
Then, O, what eyes are leaning o'er,
If fairer than they were before!

The Oxford Book of English Verse, HTML edition