[loose newspaper poem]
BY N. G. SHEPHERD.
Gertrude is dead and sleeps in her grave;
Wearily, wearily falls the rain:
From sorrow and sin there is none to save:
And my heart is lonely and full of pain.
Gertrude is dead, and I am alone;
Drearily, drearily sobs the wind,
Making a feeble and desolate moan,
Like a sightless lover, his love to find.
Gertrude is dead, and her lips are cold;
Wearily, wearily circles the leaf:
A nest for the worms is her hair�s pale gold;
And my own grown thinner each hour with grief.
Gertrude is dead, so true and so tried;
Duskily, duskily gathers the night;
What if we sinned?�we had nothing beside
Our love young and strong and our hope so slight.
Gertrude is dead�friends wept and condoled;
Bitterly, bitterly fall my tears;
They spoke of the angels with harps of gold�
They knew not what shortened her tender years.
Gertrude is dead�she saw but our shame;
Womanly, womanly, kind and true.
She was poor, like myself, with friends and a name;
I would, when she died, that I had died too.
Gertrude is dead�the owl is awake,
Angrily, angrily hoots he aloud;
Her urn is full, and the yew�s limbs shake
With the big, cold drops from the sorrowing cloud.
Gertrude is dead. I mixed the cup;
Nervously, nervously shook my hand:
With a trembling sigh, she lifted it up
And drank it off to the dregs where I stand.
Gertrude is dead. I sat by her side;
Heavily, heavily drew she breath:
Six moons have pass�d since she languished and died,
Yet I seem in the very presence of Death.
Gertrude is dead�what ghost then laughed?
Gloomily, gloomily lowers the sky:
The half was for me of that poisonous draught,
As she knew by my look, and drank it dry!
Gertrude is dead�the sleep priest prayed
Whiningly, whiningly over my love:
On the terrible judgment-day, he said,
We would meet in the realms of light above.
Gertrude is there, if I�m turned away
Wearily, wearily pass the days�
I will beg of the warder, old and gray,
To list for one note of her harp as she plays.