Tuesday, November 29, 2016

THE EMPTY HOUSE, a poem

I SEEMED to see thy spirit leave the clay
     That was its mortal tenement of late;
     I seemed to see it falter at the gate
Of the New Life, as seeking to obey
Some inner law, yet doubtful of the way
     Provided for its passage, by that fate
     Which makes birth pain, and gives to death such state
And dignity, when soul withdraws its sway.

A tremor of the pale and noble brow,
     A tightening of the lips, and thou wast gone—
Gone?—whither? Ah, the hush of death's abyss!
All tenantless thy beauteous form lay now
     As the cicada's fragile shell outgrown,
Or as the long-forsaken, lonely chrysalis.
"The Empty House" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Atlantic Monthly (November 1908), Lyrics of Life (1909) and Poems (1916) Volume I.

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