James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

November 19

Emma Lazarus

By Richard Watson Gilder (1844–1909)

  • A young American poetess of great promise, who died on Nov. 19, 1887, at an early age.

  • WHEN on thy bed of pain thou layest low

    Daily we saw thy body fade away,

    Nor could the love wherewith we loved thee stay

    For one dear hour the flesh borne down by woe;

    But as the mortal sank, with what white glow

    Flamed thy eternal spirit, night and day;

    Untouched, unwasted, though the crumbling clay

    Lay wrecked and ruined! Ah, is it not so,

    Dear poet-comrade, who from sight has gone;

    Is it not so that spirit hath a life

    Death may not conquer? But, O dauntless one!

    Still must we sorrow. Heavy is the strife

    And thou not with us; thou of the old race

    That with Jehovah parleyed, face to face.