TOO LATE POEM by Adelaide Anne Procter

Poetry from Legends and Lyrics Second Series.

Adelaide Anne Procter


Hush! speak low; tread softly;
Draw the sheet aside;—
Yes, she does look peaceful;
With that smile she died.

Yet stern want and sorrow
Even now you trace
On the wan, worn features
Of the still white face.

Restless, helpless, hopeless,
Was her bitter part;—
Now—how still the Violets
Lie upon her Heart!

She who toiled and laboured
For her daily bread;
See the velvet hangings
Of this stately bed.

Yes, they did forgive her;
Brought her home at last;
Strove to cover over
Their relentless past.

Ah, they would have given
Wealth, and home, and pride,
To see her just look happy
Once before she died!

They strove hard to please her,
But, when death is near
All you know is deadened,
Hope, and joy, and fear.

And besides, one sorrow
Deeper still—one pain
Was beyond them: healing
Came to-day—in vain!

If she had but lingered
Just a few hours more;
Or had this letter reached her
Just one day before!

I can almost pity
Even him to-day;
Though he let this anguish
Eat her heart away.

Yet she never blamed him:-
One day you shall know
How this sorrow happened;
It was long ago.

I have read the letter:
Many a weary year,
For one word she hungered—
There are thousands here.

If she could but hear it,
Could but understand;
See—I put the letter
In her cold white hand.

Even these words, so longed for,
Do not stir her rest;
Well—I should not murmur,
For God judges best.

She needs no more pity,—
But I mourn his fate,
When he hears his letter
Came a day too late.

Adelaide Anne Procter – Legends and Lyrics Second Series

Legends and Lyrics First Series by Adelaide Anne Procter