Poems (Coates 1916)/Volume I/"In Memory of Jean"

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ALONE, alone in the still, deserted room,
He knew that she lay dead—that hope was past,
Knew she had left him in her bloom—
She, of his joys, the last!

Yet warm and tender as the day's caress,
There lingered in his breaking heart the light
She wore for him, the loveliness
Death's shadow could not blight;

And in the silence feeling her so near—
Though wrapped from him in strange oblivion,
Longing that life should hold her dear
When he, too, should be gone,—

He strengthened for her sake reluctant breath,
And put away the dread of waiting years,
And wrote the story of her death,
And sealed it with his tears. . . .

Four little months! and then—ah, seemed it long
Reft of his treasure, here on earth to bide?—
When April sang its full, glad song
They laid him at her side.

No partings more! In quiet now they sleep,
Forgetful of all griefs that came between;
And through his brave, brave love, we keep
The memory of "Jean"!

  1. Jean Clemens, daughter of "Mark Twain," died Christmas Eve, 11 A.M., 1909.