Songs of Love and Rebellion/The dead love

THE DEAD LOVE


They wreathed your brow with laurels, and a lily spotless white
They placed upon your bosom, and they left you in the night;
They left you there, my darling, where the roses breathed their breath,
In silken splendor shrouded, in the lonely house of death.

The moon outside was shining in a sky without a stain,
And through the open window came a mocker's wild refrain;
A strange, unearthly beauty palpitated through the air,
But loveliness was loveliest where you were lying there.

Around your queenly presence the departed soul still clung.
It seemed that death had come as comes a song by angels sung,
Had stolen on you unawares, as night steals on the day,
And fixed in every feature, dear, the life it took away.

Within the dim, hushed chamber, there I knelt beside your bier
And poured love's broken message in your cold, unheeding ear;
I would not have it but that your unanswering was feigned,
And on your still half-parted lips a thousand kisses rained.

They wreathed your brow with laurels, and a lily spotless white
They placed upon your bosom, and they left you in the night;
They left you there, my darling, where the roses breathed their breath,
In silken splendor shrouded, in the lonely house of death.