Lament


How she would have loved
A party to-day! --
Bright-hatted and gloved,
With table and tray
And chairs on the lawn
Her smiles would have shone
With welcomings.... But
She is shut, she is shut
    From friendship's spell
    In the jailing shell
    Of her tiny cell.

Or she would have reigned
At a dinner tonight
With ardours unfeigned,
And a generous delight;
All in her abode
She'd have freely bestowed
On her guests.... But alas,
She is shut under grass
    Where no cups flow,
    Powerless to know
    That it might be so.

And she would have sought
With a child's eager glance
The shy snowdrops brought
By the new year's advance,
And peered in the rime
Of Candlemas-time
For crocuses... chanced
It that she were not tranced
    From sights she loved best;
    Wholly possessed
    By an infinite rest!

And we are here staying
Amid these stale things
Who care not for gaying,
And those junketings
That wed so to joy her,
And never to cloy her
As us they cloy!... But
She is shut, she is shut
    From the cheer of them, dead
    To all done and said
    In a yew-arched bed.


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