Today I had a burial of my dead.
     There was no shroud, no coffin, and no pall,
  No prayers were uttered and no tears were shed--
     I only turned a picture to the wall.

  A picture that had hung within my room
     For years and years; a relic of my youth.
  It kept the rose of love in constant bloom
     To see those eyes of earnestness and truth.

  At hours wherein no other dared intrude,
     I had drawn comfort from its smiling grace.
  Silent companion of my solitude,
     My soul held sweet communion with that face.

  I lived again the dream so bright, so brief,
     Though wakened as we all are by some Fate;
  This picture gave me infinite relief,
     And did not leave me wholly desolate.

  To-day I saw an item, quite by chance,
     That robbed me of my pitiful poor dole:
  A marriage notice fell beneath my glance,
     And I became a lonely widowed soul.

  With drooping eyes, and cheeks a burning flame,
     I turned the picture to the blank wall's gloom.
  My very heart had died in me of shame,
     If I had left it smiling in my room.

  Another woman's husband. So, my friend,
     My comfort, my sole relic of the past,
  I bury thee, and, lonely, seek the end.
     Swift age has swept my youth from me at last.

Yesterdays. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1916.

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