James Whitcomb Riley

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

Elizabeth


_May 1, 1891_.

I.

Elizabeth! Elizabeth!
The first May-morning whispereth
Thy gentle name in every breeze
That lispeth through the young-leaved trees,
New raimented in white and green
Of bloom and leaf to crown thee queen;--
And, as in odorous chorus, all
The orchard-blossoms sweetly call
Even as a singing voice that saith
Elizabeth! Elizabeth!

II.

Elizabeth! Lo, lily-fair,
In deep, cool shadows of thy hair,
Thy face maintaineth its repose.--
Is it, O sister of the rose,
So better, sweeter, blooming thus
Than in this briery world with us?--
Where frost o'ertaketh, and the breath
Of biting winter harrieth
With sleeted rains and blighting snows
All fairest blooms--Elizabeth!

III.

Nay, then!--So reign, Elizabeth,
Crowned, in thy May-day realm of death!
Put forth the scepter of thy love
In every star-tipped blossom of
The grassy dais of thy throne!
Sadder are we, thus left alone,
But gladder they that thrill to see
Thy mother's rapture, greeting thee.
Bereaved are we by life--not death--
Elizabeth! Elizabeth!

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

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