On A Young Poetess’s Grave

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UNDER her gentle seeing,  
 In her delicate little hand,  
They placed the Book of Being,  
 To read and understand.  

The Book was mighty and olden,
 Yea, worn and eaten with age;  
Though the letters look’d great and golden,  
 She could not read a page.  

The letters flutter’d before her,  
 And all look’d sweetly wild:
Death saw her, and bent o’er her,  
 As she pouted her lips and smil’d.  

And weary a little with tracing  
 The Book, she look’d aside,  
And lightly smiling, and placing
 A Flower in its leaves, she died.  

She died, but her sweetness fled not,  
 As fly the things of power,—  
For the Book wherein she read not  
 Is the sweeter for the Flower.

© William Cosmo Monkhouse