Verse > Anthologies > Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. > Yale Book of American Verse
Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. (1838–1915). Yale Book of American Verse.  1912.
Thomas William Parsons. 1819–1892
142. Mary Booth
WHAT shall we do now, Mary being dead, 
  Or say or write that shall express the half? 
What can we do but pillow that fair head, 
  And let the Spring-time write her epitaph?— 
As it will soon, in snowdrop, violet,         5
  Wind-flower and columbine and maiden's tear; 
Each letter of that pretty alphabet, 
  That spells in flowers the pageant of the year. 
She was a maiden for a man to love; 
  She was a woman for a husband's life;  10
One that had learned to value, far above 
  The name of love, the sacred name of wife. 
Her little life-dream, rounded so with sleep, 
  Had all there is of life, except gray hairs,— 
Hope, love, trust, passion and devotion deep;  15
  And that mysterious tie a Mother bears. 
She hath fulfilled her promise and hath passed; 
  Set her down gently at the iron door! 
Eyes look on that loved image for the last: 
  Now cover it in earth,—her earth no more.  20

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