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Posts Tagged ‘Sexton’

I cannot live with You –
It would be Life –
And Life is over there –
Behind the Shelf 

The Sexton keeps the Key to –
Putting up
Our Life – His Porcelain –
Like a Cup – 

Discarded of the Housewife –
Quaint – or Broke –
A newer Sevres pleases –
Old Ones crack – 

I could not die – with You –
For One must wait
To shut the Other’s Gaze down –
You – could not – 

And I – Could I stand by
And see You – freeze –
Without my Right of Frost –
Death’s privilege?

Nor could I rise – with You –
Because Your Face
Would put out Jesus’ –
That New Grace 

Glow plain – and foreign
On my homesick Eye –
Except that You than He
Shone closer by – 

They’d judge Us – How –
For You – served Heaven – You know,
Or sought to –
I could not – 

Because You saturated Sight –
And I had no more Eyes
For sordid excellence
As Paradise 

And were You lost, I would be –
Though My Name
Rang loudest
On the Heavenly fame – 

And were You – saved –
And I – condemned to be
Where You were not –
That self – were Hell to Me – 

So We must meet apart –
You there – I – here –
With just the Door ajar
That Oceans are – and Prayer –
And that White Sustenance –
Despair –

 

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[written on the death of an old family servant
who died Jan.7, 1861]

Sexton! Martha’s dead and gone;
…….Toll the bell! toll the bell!
Her weary hands their labor cease;
Good night, poor Martha, – sleep in peace!
…….Toll the bell!

Sexton! Martha’s dead and gone;
…….Toll the bell! toll the bell!
For many a year has Martha said,
“I’m old and poor, – would I were dead!”
…….Toll the bell!

Sexton! Martha’s dead and gone;
…….Toll the bell! toll the bell!
She’ll bring no more, by day or night,
Her basket full of linen white,
…….Toll the bell!

Sexton! Martha’s dead and gone;
…….Toll the bell! toll the bell!
‘T is fitting she should lie below
A pure white sheet of drifted snow.
…….Toll the bell!

Sexton! Martha’s dead and gone;
…….Toll the bell! toll the bell!
Sleep, Martha, sleep, to wake in light,
Where all the robes are stainless white.
…….Toll the bell!

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