DEAR, when you lift your gentle heart in prayer,
Ask God to send his angel Death to me
Long ere he comes to you, if that may be.
I would dwell with you in that new life there,
But having, man-like, sinned, I must prepare,
By sad probation, ere I hope to see
Those upper realms which are at once thrown free
To sweet, white souls like yours, unstained and fair.
Time is so brief on earth, I well might spare
A few short years, if so I could atone
For my marred past, ere you are called above.
My soul would glory in its own despair,
Till, purified, I met you at God's throne,
And entered on Eternities of Love.
Nay, love, not so I frame my prayer to God;
I want you close beside me to the end;
If it could be, I would have Him send
A simultaneous death, and let one sod
Cover our two hushed hearts. If you have trod
Paths strange to me on earth, oh, let me wend
My way with yours hereafter; let me blend
My tears with yours beneath the chastening rod.
If you must pay the penalty for sin,
In vales of darkness, ere you pass on higher,
I will petition God to let me go.
I would not wait on earth, nor enter in
To any joys before you. I desire
No glory greater than to share your woe.
ELLA WHEELER WILCOX
The Evening Bulletin [Philadelphia] 29 Nov. 1901: 7.
Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.
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