Face in the tomb, that lies so still,
May I draw near,
And watch your sleep and love you,
Without word or tear.
You smile, your eyelids flicker;
Shall I tell
How the world goes that lost you?
Shall I tell?
Ah! love, lift not your eyelids;
'Tis the same
Old story that we laughed at, -
Still the same.
We knew it, you and I,
We knew it all:
Still is the small the great,
The great the small;
Still the cold lie quenches
The flaming truth,
And still embattled age
Wars against youth.
Yet I believe still in the ever-living God
That fills your grave with perfume,
Writing your name in violets across the sod,
Shielding your holy face from hail and snow;
And, though the withered stay, the lovely go,
No transitory wrong or wrath of things
Shatters the faith - that each slow minute brings
That meadow nearer to us where your feet
Shall flicker near me like white butterflies -
That meadow where immortal lovers meet,
Gazing for ever in immortal eyes.