by Hannah Gould
'Twas not the robe of state,
Which the high and the haughty wear,
That my busy hand, as the lamp burnt late,
Was hastening to prepare.
It had no clasp of gold,
No diamond's dazzling blaze
For the festive board; nor the graceful fold
To float in the dance's maze.
'Twas not to wrap the breast,
With gladness light and warm,
For the bride's attire—for the joyous guest;
Nor to clothe the sufferer's form.
'Twas not the garb of woe
To conceal an aching heart,
When our eyes with bitter tears o'erflow,
And our dearest ones depart.
'Twas what we all must bear
To the cold, the lonely bed!
'Twas the spotless uniform they wear
In the chambers of the dead!
I saw a fair, young maid
In the snowy vesture drest;
So pure, she looked as one arrayed
For the mansions of the blest.
A smile had left its trace
On her lip, at the parting-breath,
And the beauty in that lovely face
Was fixed with the seal of death!