Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
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James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
 
November 19
Emma Lazarus
By Richard Watson Gilder (1844–1909)
 
          A young American poetess of great promise, who died on Nov. 19, 1887, at an early age.

WHEN on thy bed of pain thou layest low
  Daily we saw thy body fade away,
  Nor could the love wherewith we loved thee stay
For one dear hour the flesh borne down by woe;
But as the mortal sank, with what white glow        5
  Flamed thy eternal spirit, night and day;
  Untouched, unwasted, though the crumbling clay
Lay wrecked and ruined! Ah, is it not so,
Dear poet-comrade, who from sight has gone;
  Is it not so that spirit hath a life        10
Death may not conquer? But, O dauntless one!
  Still must we sorrow. Heavy is the strife
And thou not with us; thou of the old race
That with Jehovah parleyed, face to face.
 
 
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