Aloes and Myrrh (Poem by Gilbert Parker)

Suggested Poem

Aloes and Myrrh
By Gilbert Parker


Dead, with the dew on your brow,
Dead, with the may in your face,
Dead: and here, true to my vow,
I, who have won in the race,
Weave you a chaplet of song
Wet with the spray and the rime
Blown from your love that was strong — 
Stronger than Time.

August it was, and the sun
Streamed through the pines of the west;
There were two then — there is one;
Flown is the bird from the nest;
And it is August again,
But, from this uttermost sea,
Rises the mist of my pain — 
You are set free.

“Tell him I see the tall pines,
Out through the door as I lie — 
Red where the setting sun shines — 
Waving their hands in good-bye;
Tell him I hold to my breast,
Dying, the flowers he gave;
Glad as I go I shall rest
Well in my grave.”
 
This is the message they send,
Warm with your ultimate breath;
Saying, “And this is the end;
She is the bride but of death.”
 Is death the worst of all things?
What but a bursting of bands,
Then to the First of All Things
Stretching out hands!

Under the grass and the snow
You will sleep well till I come;
And you will feel me, I know,
Though you are motionless, dumb.
I shall speak low overhead — 
You were so eager to hear — 
And even though you are dead,
You will be near.

Dead, with the dew on your brow,
Dead, with the May in your face,
Dead: and here, true to my vow,
I, who have won in the race,
Weave you a chaplet of song
Wet with the spray and the rime
Blown from your love that was strong — 
Stronger than Time.

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