The Kiss

When you lay before me dead,
     In such pallid rest,
On those passive lips of thine
     Not one kiss I pressed!

Did you wonder--looking down
     From some higher sphere--
Knowing how we two had loved
     Many and many a year?

Did you think me strange and cold
     When I did not touch,
Even with reverent finger-tips,
     What I had loved so much?

Ah! when last you kissed me, dear,
     Know you what you said?
"Take this last kiss, my beloved,
     Soon shall I be dead!

"Keep it for a solemn sign
     Through our love's long night,
Till you give it back again
     On some morning bright."

So I gave you no caress;
     But, remembering this,
Warm upon my lips I keep
     Your last living kiss!

                 --Julia C. R. Door