Various and Sundry Poetry

on grief and healing

"Go to the grave of buried love, and meditate. There, settle the account with thy conscience for every past benefit unrequited - every past endearment unregarded - of the departed being, who can never, never return to be soothed by thy contrition! If thou art a child, and hast ever added a sorrow to the soul, or a furrow to the silvered brow of an affectionate parent; if thou art a husband, and hast caused the fond bosom that ventured its whole happiness in thy arms to doubt one moment thy kindness or truth; if thou art a friend, and hast ever wronged in thought, or word, or deed, the spirit that generously confided in thee; if thou art a lover, and hast ever given one unmerited pang to that true heart which now lies cold beneath thy feet - then be sure that every unkind look, every ungracious word, every ungentle action, will come thronging back upon thy memory, and knocking dolefully at thy soul; then be sure that thou wilt lie down sorrowing and repentant on the grave, and utter the unheard groan, and pour the unavailing tear - more deep, more bitter, because unheard and unavailing." - from The Country Gentleman: A Journal for the Farm, the Garden, and the Fireside, July 31, 1862.