A Burial Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

A Burial

Rating: 4.8

Today I had a burial of my dead.
There was no shroud, no coffin, and no pall,
No prayers were uttered and no tears were shed
I only turned a picture to the wall.

A picture that had hung within my room
For years and years; a relic of my youth.
It kept the rose of love in constant bloom
To see those eyes of earnestness and truth.

At hours wherein no other dared intrude,
I had drawn comfort from its smiling grace.
Silent companion of my solitude,
My soul held sweet communion with that face.

I lived again the dream so bright, so brief,
Though wakened as we all are by some Fate;
This picture gave me infinite relief,
And did not leave me wholly desolate.

To-day I saw an item, quite by chance,
That robbed me of my pitiful poor dole:
A marriage notice fell beneath my glance,
And I became a lonely widowed soul.

With drooping eyes, and cheeks a burning flame,
I turned the picture to the blank wall's gloom.
My very heart had died in me of shame,
If I had left it smiling in my room.

Another woman's husband. So, my friend,
My comfort, my sole relic of the past,
I bury thee, and, lonely, seek the end.
Swift age has swept my youth from me at last.

Monday, December 1, 2014
Topic(s) of this poem: death
sick in the head 30 May 2018

your just sick your a dog your perthetic

2 3 Reply
Adrian Flett 29 January 2019

So well portrayed the loss by loss of hope, loss of time waiting for something to happen, much worse than death. 'Swift age has swept my youth from me at last.' All this without a trace of sentimentality.

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Bernard F. Asuncion 29 January 2019

An excellent poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox......

4 0 Reply
Dr Antony Theodore 29 January 2019

With drooping eyes, and cheeks a burning flame, I turned the picture to the blank wall's gloom. My very heart had died in me of shame, a very fine poem dear poetess. tony

4 0 Reply
Mbusya Wa Mbusya 29 January 2019

quite a line there. Thanks

3 0 Reply
Shaun Cronick 29 June 2020

A great narrative poem with a most touching message of her discovery and at the same time her loss.

7 0 Reply
Ratnakar Mandlik 29 January 2019

A touching account of distress after realization of one's bygone youth has been intensely unveiled through this marvelous life song.

1 1 Reply
Practicing Poetess 29 January 2019

How sad for her to have found the marriage announcement of a former friend or flame. She feels she lost the last remaining relic of her youth. So much for her association with the past. A very well-written poem of loss, and having to let something go.

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James Mclain 29 January 2019

To what end it comes to all and the mirror on the wall, that tells no lies.

3 1 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 29 January 2019

A lonely widowed soul! ! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

4 0 Reply
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin
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