Ethel Ashton Edwards

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To My Belovéd Dead


In the profound and dreadful calm of night,
Worn with the newness of my grief, I come
Dry-eyed, and fall beside you, spent and dumb,
Dreading the dawn, with all its aching light;

Dreading the day, and all it holds for me
Of restlessness and forms that come and go;
New things to do, new things to see and know,
That were not yet, when you were there to see;

And shut my eyes, and for a while pretend
That I can lean against you, feel your hand,
Hear your heart beat, and know you understand,
Though you are farther than the wide world's end.

Ah! My Belovéd, swiftly, silently,
Surely your kind, kind ghost shall comfort me.


It cannot be that you shall no more come
Radiant with laughter, holding hands for mine,
Seeking my soul for Love's most earnest sign,
Meeting my thought with eloquent thought and dumb

It cannot be that I must look for you
There, where the Summer flames, and find you not;
Of splendid sunsets know you all forgot,
Nor find you in the rain, nor the sky's blue.

For here the lily all her sweetness yields,
And all my heart is open to the sun;
And, seeking peace in grief, the long day done,
I find it in the silver, moonlit fields.

Then, by the beauty of the world I know
That you are here, and will not let me go.

(Text from The Best Poems of 1923)