I LOVED him so; his voice had grown
Into my heart, and now to hear
The pretty song he had sung so long
Die on the lips to me so dear!
He a child with golden curls,
And I with head as white as snow—
I knelt down there and made this pray'r:
"God, let me be the first to go!"
How often I recall it now:
My darling tossing on his bed,
I sitting there in mute despair,
Smoothing the curls that crowned his head.
They did not speak to me of death—
A feeling here had told me so;
What could I say or do but pray
That I might be the first to go?
Yet, thinking of him standing there
Out yonder as the years go by,
Waiting for me to come, I see
'Twas better he should wait, not I.
For when I walk the vale of death,
Above the wail of Jordan's flow
Shall rise a song that shall make me strong–
The call of the child that was first to go.