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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