James Whitcomb Riley

(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

By Her White Bed


By her white bed I muse a little space:
She fell asleep--not very long ago,--
And yet the grass was here and not the snow--
The leaf, the bud, the blossom, and--her face!--
Midsummer's heaven above us, and the grace
Of Lovers own day, from dawn to afterglow;
The fireflies' glimmering, and the sweet and low
Plaint of the whip-poor-wills, and every place
In thicker twilight for the roses' scent.
Then _night_.--She slept--in such tranquility,
I walk atiptoe still, nor _dare_ to weep,
Feeling, in all this hush, she rests content--
That though God stood to wake her for me, she
Would mutely plead: 'Nay, Lord! Let _him_ so sleep.'

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

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