Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DEATH (IN MEMORIAM MAGGIE MEAGHER), by GEORGE FREDERICK CAMERON



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DEATH (IN MEMORIAM MAGGIE MEAGHER), by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Dear friend, I know this world is kin
Last Line: And with our hearts—behold them there!
Subject(s): Death; Dead, The


Dear friend, I know this world is kin,
And all of hate is but a breath:
We all are friends, made perfect in
Our near relationship by death.

And so, although it was not mine
To meet thee in thy walk below,
Or know of thee till feet of thine
Were on the hills no man can know;

For friendship's sake I fain would bring
A flower, or two, to thee to prove
That memory lives, that death's sharp sting
Hath still an antidote in love.

Devoured by his desire of her
The king, who ever loved her best,
Hath stilled the billowing of her breast,
Hath kissed her so no pulse doth stir,
But all of her doth lie at rest.

Then, knowing she may never now
Wish any else, he takes his leave,
And little recks how they may grieve
Who see the splendor of her brow
Gleam ghastly through the gathering eve;

Who see her lying pale, supine,
With wild red roses twined with fair
About her throat, and in her hair,
And on her bosom,—all divine
If but a little life were there.

Nor heeds he aught the sunless glooms
And fair forms folded from the light
In close graves crowded far from sight
In lone lands dedicate to tombs
And scarce to starbeams known at night;

But goes his way; and as he goes
Leaves that we hold as sorrow here,—
The pain of parting and the tear,
The broken lily and the rose
Down fallen with the fallen year.

Cold king, most lone and absolute!
What maid would be desired of thee?
From thy embrace who would not flee?
What though a monarch, being mute
In love of thine what love could be?

Can any good be silent so?
Be dumb, and do its work and pass
Swift as an image in a glass?
Ah, all of good that we can know
Thus comes to us, and leaves, alas!

While we, who have no key to ope
Death's cabinet of mysteries,
Can only vainly strain our eyes,
And hold to heaven and that high hope
That death is good in any guise!

And if but slight to thee appear
The tribute brought, now that thine eyes
May view through all the eternal year
The fairer flowers of Paradise,—

If dim and all unworthy look
The offering, yet remember well
We do not sleep by Eden's brook,
Or dream on beds of Asphodel:

So only bring the flowers that bloom
Beside us, fresh enough and fair;
Enough to wither on thy tomb:
And with our hearts—behold them there!





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