Upon a couch all robed by careful hands
For her repose, the maiden Mable lies,
Her long bright hair is braided in smooth bands--
A mass of stranded gold, that mortal eyes
May, wondering, gaze upon a little while;
That mortal hands may touch a few times more.
Her placid lips part in a sweet, faint smile,
As if the glories of that mystic shore,
When first they fell upon her spirit eyes--
All the rare splendors of that unseen way
Had touched her with a wondering, glad surprise,
And left the pleased expression on her clay.
Her two fair hands are crossed upon her breast--
Two shapes of wax upon a drift of snow.
And they have robed her for her peaceful rest,
Not in the hateful shroud--that sign of woe,
But in that garb we loved to see her wear;
A dark blue robe, fashioned by her own hand.
I wonder, as I see her lying there,
If God will give her spirit in His land
Another shape. She could not be more fair.
I think he will not change her form, or face,
But with the same long, rippling, golden hair
She will kneel down before the throne of grace,
And wipe God's feet; and her dark eyes will raise
Up to Christ's face, and touch Him with her hand,
And will with her own sweet voice, sing God's praise,
And still be fairest in the Angel band.
Shells by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Milwaukee: Hauser & Storey, 1873.
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