Why do we grudge our sweets so to the living,
    Who, God knows, find at best too much of gall,
And then with generous, open hands kneel, giving
    Unto the dead our all?

Why do we pierce the warm hearts, sin or sorrow,
    With idle jests, or scorn, or cruel sneers,
And when it cannot know, on some tomorrow,
    Speak of its woe through tears?

What do the dead care for the tender token--
    The love, the praise, the floral offerings?
But palpitating, living hearts are broken
    For want of just these things.

Poems of Passion by Ella Wheeler
Chicago : Belford, Clarke & Co, 1883.

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