Littell's Living Age/Volume 128/Issue 1647/The Last Wish


This is all, is it much, my darling? You must follow your path in life,
Have a head for its, complex windings, a hand for its sudden strife;
The sun will shine, the flowers will bloom, though my course 'mid them all is o'er,
I would not that those dear living eyes should light in their joy no more;
Only just for the sake of the happy past, and the golden days that have been,
By the love we have loved, and the hopes we have hoped, will you have my grave kept green?

Just a moment in the morning, in the eager flush of the day,
To pluck some creeping weed perchance, or train the white rose spray;
Just a moment to shade my violets from the glare of the noontide heat,
Just a tear and a prayer in the gloaming, ere you leave me with lingering feet.
Ah! it is weak and foolish, but I think that in God's serene,
I shall know, and love to know, mine own, that you keep my grave so green.

I would fain, when the drops are plashing against your window-pane,
That you should be thinking wistfully of my grasses out in the rain;
That when the winter veil is spread o'er the fair white world below,
Your tender hands twine the holly wreaths that mark my rest in the snow.
My clasp on life and life's rich gifts grows faint and cold I ween,
Yet oh! I would hold it to the last — the trust of my grave kept green.

Because it is by such little signs the heart and its faith are read;
Because the natural man must shrink ere he joins the forgotten dead;
The heavenly hope is bright and pure, and calm is the heavenly rest,
Yet the human love clings yearningly to all it has prized the best.
We have been so happy, darling, and the parting pang is keen,
Ah! soothe it by this last vow to me — you will watch that my grave keeps green?

All The Year Round.