If I should die to-night, My friends would look upon my quiet face Before they laid it in its resting-place, And deem that death had left it almost fair; And, laying snow-white flowers against my hair

Would smooth it down with tearful tenderness, And fold my hands with lingering caress; Poor hands, so empty and so cold to-night!

If I should die to-night, My friends would call to mind, with loving thought, Some kindly deed the icy hand had wrought; Some gentle word the frozen lips had said;

Errands on which the willing feet had sped; The memory of my selfishness and pride, My hasty words, would all be put aside, And so I should be loved and mourned to-night.

If I should die to night, Even hearts estranged would turn once more to me,

Recalling other days remorsefully.

The eyes that chill me with averted glance Would look upon me as of yore, perchance, And soften, in the old, familiar way, For who could war with dumb, unconscious clay? So I might rest, forgiven of all, to-night.

Oh, friends, I pray to night, Keep not your kisses for my dead, cold brow.

The way is lonely, let me feel them now.

Think gently of me; I am travel-worn; My faltering feet are pierced with many a thorn. Forgive, oh, hearts estranged, forgive, I plead! When dreamless rest is mine I shall not need The tenderness for which I long to-night.

" 'tis so sweet to labor for those we love."

If I Should Die To Night 781


O WHAT shall I do, my dear,

In the coming years, I wonder, When onr paths, which lie so sweetly near

Shall lie so far asunder? O, what shall I do, my dear,

Through all the sad to-morrows, When the sunny smile has ceased to cheer,

That smiles away all sorrows?

What shall I do, my friend,

When you are gone forever? My heart its eager need will send,

Through the years to find you, never. And how will it be with you,

In the weary world, I wonder? Will you love me with a love as true,

When our paths lie far asunder?

A sweeter, sadder thing. My life for having known you;

Forever, with my sacred kin, My soul's soul, I must own you; Forever mine, my friend,

From June till life's December; Not mine to have and hold,

Mine to pray for, and remember.

The way is short, my friend,

That reaches out before us; God's tender heavens above us bend,

His love is smiling o'er us. A little while is ours,

For sorrow or for laughter; I'll lay the hand you love in yours,

On the shore of the hereafter.