In fitful gusts sweeps o'er a lowly bed
Made but to-day. A true heart and a kind
Lies still and pulseless, she, our friend, is dead.
A few hours since, I stood, with tear-wet eyes,
And looked upon her, placid in her sleep,
Longing to whisper to her, loving-wise,
But silence wrapped her, I could only weep.
I loved her well, and never let her know,
Nor sought her side to soothe the pain she bore,
By word or touch, or aught that friend could do.
Now 'tis too late___and oh! it grieves me sore.
O friend, had I but known that on thy brow
Death had its signet set, and marked his own!
But bitter tears are unavailing now,
In vain regret. O friend, had I but known!
We speak of what she was, how tender, true,
How loving, loyal, to her friends, how dear,
Tell to each other her sweet story through,
In voices low___alas! she cannot hear.
The night grows darker; still the cold winds moan,
For me repeating but one sad refrain,
I seem to hear, in every mournful tone
Only the bitter wail___"In vain, in vain."
__Ellen P. Allerton.
Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)