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

June 11

Lady Franklin

By Elizabeth Whittier

FOLD thy hands, thy work is over;

Cool thy watching eyes with tears;

Let thy poor heart, over-wearied,

Rest alike from hopes and fears,—

Hopes, that saw with sleepless vision

One sad picture fading slow;

Fears, that followed, vague and nameless,

Lifting back the veils of snow.

For thy brave one, for thy lost one,

Truest heart of woman, weep!

Owning still the love that granted

Unto thy beloved sleep.

Not for him that hour of terror

When, the long ice-battle o’er,

In the sunless day his comrades

Deathward trod the Polar shore.

Spared the cruel cold and famine,

Spared the fainting heart’s despair,

What but that could mercy grant him?

What but that has been thy prayer?

Dear to thee that last memorial

From the cairn beside the sea;

Evermore the month of roses

Shall be sacred time to thee.

Sad it is the mournful yew-tree

O’er his slumbers may not wave;

Sad it is the English daisy

May not blossom on his grave.

But his tomb shall storm and winter

Shape and fashion year by year,

Pile his mighty mausoleum,

Block by block, and tier on tier.

Guardian of its gleaming portal

Shall his stainless honor be,

While thy love, a sweet immortal,

Hovers o’er the winter sea.