Poetry of Kansas

To the Memory of a Young Friend.

Sing a song with sorrow laden,
    Sing a requiem sad and slow,
For the pure and gentle maiden
    Lying with her head so low.
Loving was she, sweet and mild,
Half a woman, half a child.
Hands so helpful, past the telling.
    Ah, how soon your work is done!
Feet so light, so fleet, so willing,
    Ah, how soon your race is run!
Bright her morning rose, and yet
Ere its prime her sun is set.
In the great world's swelling surges___
    Ceaseless strife of loss and gain___
Drowned are sorrow's mournful dirges,
    Sobs of anguish, cries of pain.
Why for her such tears should flow,
Only we who loved her know.
Keen the wind that sweeps the prairie;
    Keener yet the bitter breath
Blown from off the borders dreary
    Of the silent realm of Death.
And we shiver___shrink with dread,
As we cover up our dead.
Hard is parting___hard to sever
    Ties that bleed at every strand;
And the gap shall close, ah, never,
    In that broken household band.
Yet, while we perforce must weep,
Sleep, O maiden! sweetly sleep.
O'er tile snows, descending lightly,
    Softly fold their ermine screen;
Choicest flowers shall blossom brightly;
    Grasses wave their banners green,
Summer breezes, stealing nigh,
These shall breathe thy lullaby.
Tender is our common mother,
    Shielding from the storm and strife,
While Hope whispers of another,
    And a brighter, better life.
Even amid our blinding tears,
Faith serene consoles and cheers.

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)
Pages 78-79

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July 6, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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