Verse > Anthologies > Higginson and Bigelow, eds. > American Sonnets
Higginson and Bigelow, comps.  American Sonnets.  1891.
Sewing the Shroud
By Charles Edwin Markham (1852–1940)
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

MEEKLY o’er silks and satins chained and bent,
  They stitch for the lady, tyrannous and proud—
  For her a wedding-gown, for them a shroud:
They mend and mend, but never mend the rent
Torn in Life’s golden curtains. Glad Youth went,        5
  And left them alone with Time: if blind and bowed
  With burdens, they should sob and cry aloud,
Wondering the rich would look from their content.
Lo! all this glimmering life at last recedes,
  In unknown, endless depths beyond recall;        10
  And here at the end of ages is this all—
Is this the flower of all our cults and creeds:
  A white face floating in the whirling ball;
A dead face plashing in the river reeds?

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