A Dead Past by Adelaide Anne Procter

Spare her at least: look, you have taken from me
The Present, and I murmur not, nor moan;
The Future too, with all her glorious promise;
But do not leave me utterly alone.

Spare me the Past–for, see, she cannot harm you,
She lies so white and cold, wrapped in her shroud;
All, all my own! and, trust me, I will hide her
Within my soul, nor speak to her aloud.

I folded her soft hands upon her bosom,
And strewed my flowers upon her–they still live–
Sometimes I like to kiss her closed white eye-lids,
And think of all the joy she used to give.

Cruel indeed it were to take her from me;
She sleeps, she will not wake–no fear–again:
And so I laid her, such a gentle burthen,
Quietly on my heart to still its pain.

I do not think that any smiling Present,
Any vague Future, spite of all her charms,
Could ever rival her. You know you laid her,
Long years ago, then living, in my arms.

Leave her at least–while my tears fall upon her,
I dream she smiles, just as she did of yore;
As dear as ever to me–nay, it may be,
Even dearer still–since I have nothing more.

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