Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Remembering With a Poem

Funerals are always trying times. The almost unbearable outpouring of grief has no comparison.

Despite this, funerals have often served as midwife for artistic expression—as if that creative spark flares up in the face of life being snuffed out.

Upon the death of Sister Mary Mercy—one woman whose impression on Agnes Tully Stevens prompted her to collect and save these tender remembrances—a near anonymous “K. C.” took pen and paper and sought to express his or her loss in the therapy of poetry.


Written on the Death of Sr. M. Mercy,
Sister Superior of St. Anne’s Acad-
emy, October 18, 1912.

Dead! Can it be that we no more shall see
The eyes that ne’er refused us sympathy,
That thy dear voice again we may not hear
Speak words of council, kindliness or cheer.

Dead! Yes! The noble heart—the gold fire-tried,
Its suffering will no longer strive to hide;
Superior just, and mother, sister, friend—
All these wert thou to us—is this the end?

Tribute more eloquent than gifted tongue
Or genius’ lyre could pay, the tears which wrung
From many, fall today beside thy bier,
Who knew thee but to love thee and revere.

Dark are these hours, but as we follow thee
In spirit o’er the viewless boundary
’Twixt earth and Heav’n, Peace comes to sit with Grief—
Here, only here, can sorrow find relief.

Thou art with God, and—O God-given boon!—
Still, still is left us—with thee to commune,
As one of His bright household, lately blest,
Till we have merited eternal rest.
                                                K. C.


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