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I Saw Her Fade

By: Ardis E. Parshall - September 11, 2012

I Saw Her Fade

By Thomas Ward

I saw her fade, and gently did she sink,
Like the fair flower, that, severed from the stem,
Yet lives a while in beauty; you might deem
Its frail thread of life could not be broken,
Or, that the liquid aid supplied, might yet
Preserve its being, and prevent decay;
But still it dies; like all the fair of earth,
Too frail, too weak to stay. And so she sank!
For we had fondly hoped, that, the kind aid
By friends administer’d might still be blest
To raise her drooping frame, that once again
We might behold her blooming in her prime;
But no, she died! and, like the lovely flower,
When wither’d by decay, and all that once
The eye did love to look upon is gone,
Yet leaves a fragrance sweet behind, even so
Her memory lives – in the heart’s deepest cells
‘Tis treasur’d; for, O! ‘twas sweet to mark her
As she lay upon that couch of death – bright,
With triumph, was her brow – for she had made
Her peace with God, and in atoning blood
Her soul was wash’d; whilst on the wings of faith
Her spirit soar’d on high, ere yet from earth
Its bands were loos’d. Sweet were the words she spoke, –
We breath’d the air of heav’n as we stood
Around her bed, and when her spirit pass’d,
We felt the longings of the soul to reach
Its glorious destiny, and share the bliss
Of one we lov’d so well.

(1842)



2 Comments »

  1. Wow. That’s amazing. What a selection for September 11. I’ve read it three times now and the third time could barely make it through. I read something similar last week from a newsman about the experience of attending the funeral of a baby who died from a major heart defect, and I never know when I look at the Facebook heart communities each morning if I will be seeing a note that a family has just been through this experience.

    Well, that’s enough thinking about grief for today. Do you know if Ward was LDS, Ardis? I see that this selection is from the Millennial Star, but didn’t they tend to aggregate content like this from other sources?

    Comment by Amy T — September 12, 2012 @ 7:35 am

  2. Thomas Ward actually edited the Star for a time, so although I don’t know much else about him personally, I am confident that he was LDS and that his faith influenced his views of death. I’d like to learn more about him.

    In case you or anyone else saw the poem I first posted, please realize that I scheduled a number of poems and fiction pieces a week or so in advance, without thinking about the days they would appear. The first one I posted, while wonderful in its own right, was in shockingly bad taste for 9/11 and I pulled it down as soon as I realized. This one, although presenting the image of a quiet, peaceful death, seemed more fitting.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 12, 2012 @ 8:04 am

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