Madison Julius Cawein



The White Vigil

by Madison Julius Cawein

Last night I dreamed I saw you lying dead,
And by your sheeted form stood all alone:
Frail as a flow'r you lay upon your bed,
And on your still face, through the casement, shone
The moon, as lingering to kiss you there
Fall'n asleep, white violets in your hair.

Oh, sick to weeping was my soul, and sad
To breaking was my heart that would not break;
And for my soul's great grief no tear I had,
No lamentation for my heart's deep ache;
Yet all I bore seemed more than I could bear
Beside you dead, white violets in your hair.

A white rose, blooming at your window-bar,
And glimmering in it, like a fire-fly caught
Upon the thorns, the light of one white star,
Looked on with me; as if they felt and thought
As did my heart, -- How beautiful and fair
And young she lies, white violets in her hair!

And so we watched beside you, sad and still,
The star, the rose, and I. The moon had past,
Like a pale traveler, behind the hill
With all her echoed radiance. At last
The darkness came to hide my tears and share
My watch by you, white violets in your hair.


The Garden Of Dreams
Copyright 1896
John P. Morton & Company, Louisville