Cold is the wind, that blows up from the river.
   Cold is the blast that sweeps over the plain.
In the bleak breath of the morning I shiver--
   Shiver and weep, in my desolate pain.
She was so fair--like the beautiful lily--
   Fair, oh too fair to be hidden away.
And the grave is so dark, and so damp, and so chilly,
   And she--oh my love!--will be buried to-day.

White is the snow that is heaped on the meadow,
   Whiter the face, in this desolate room.
Low in the valley lurk darkness and shadow--
   Low lies my heart, in its sorrow and gloom.
How the spades scrape, on the sods they are breaking,
   Breaking, and cutting the snowdrifts away.
How the men bend to the grave they are making,
   Where she--oh my love!--will be buried to-day.

Thick are the walls! but the bleak wind will enter,
   And chill her through all her long slumber, I know.
Rich are her robes! but the merciless Winter
   Will beat on her breast, with its tempests of snow.
Oh she was guarded, and shielded from sorrow--
   Kept from the shadows, and darkness, alway.
But she will lie, as the beggar to-morrow--
   My love--oh my love!--that is buried to-day.


Shells by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Milwaukee: Hauser & Storey, 1873.

Back to Poem Index