They cannot see the wreaths we place
Upon the silent bier,
They cannot see the tear-stained face,
Nor feel the scalding tear,
And now can flowers or graven stone,
For wrongs done them in life atone?
Better the flower that smooths the thorns
On earthly pathway found,
Than that which uselessly adorns
The bier or silent mound.
And neither tear nor floral token
Retracts the hasty word, when spoken.
Then strew the flowers ere life has fled,
While yet their eyes discern;
Why waste their fragrance on the dead
Who no fond smile return?
The heaving breast with sorrow aches,
Comfort the throbbing heart which breaks.