Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
XXXIV. Compensation
Sonnet: ‘They say that thou wert lovely on thy bier’
By William Sidney Walker (1795–1846)
THEY say that thou wert lovely on thy bier,
  More lovely than in life; that when the thrall
  Of earth was loosed, it seemed as though a pall
Of years were lifted, and thou didst appear
Such as of old amidst thy home’s calm sphere        5
  Thou sat’st, a kindly Presence felt by all
  In joy or grief, from morn to evening-fall,
The peaceful Genius of that mansion dear.
Was it the craft of all-persuading Love
  That wrought this marvel? or is Death indeed        10
A mighty master, gifted from above
    With alchemy benign, to wounded hearts
    Minist’ring thus, by quaint and subtle arts,
  Strange comfort, whereon after-thought may feed?

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