by Hannah Flagg Gould
'T was not the robe of state,
Which the high and the haughty wear,
That my busy hand, as the lamp burnt late,
Was hastening to prepare.
It had no clasp of gold,
No diamond's dazzling blaze
For the festive board; nor the graceful fold
To float in the dance's maze.
'T was not to wrap the breast,
With gladness, light and warm,
For the bride's attire -- for the joyous guest;
Nor to clothe the sufferer's form.
'T was not the garb of wo
We wear o'er an aching heart,
When our eyes with bitter tears o'erflow,
And our dearest ones depart.
'T was what we all must bear
To the cold, the lonely bed!
'T was the spotless uniform they wear
In the chambers of the dead!
I saw a fair, young maid
In the snowy vesture drest;
So pure, she looked as one arrayed
For the mansions of the blest.
A smile had left its trace
On her lip at the parting breath,
And the beauty in that lovely face
Was fixed with the seal of death!
Source:Poems By Miss H. F. Gould. Volume 1.
Hilliard, Gray, & Co., Boston