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Kowhai Gold

[Betty Knell]

Lord, I have lived a lonely life
And here I be
Near heaven, I hope, and Thee.
But oh! I'm loath
To leave these little earthly things
page 157 To bodies who'll not care.…
There is my Jacobean chair
They say has seen the home of kings
(But some say not). At any rate
It was my mother's, and she gave it me.
My shining old piano.… All its strings
Are worn away with so much melody;
But who will have it when I am not here
And polish its smooth surface?…
By the grate
The little copper fire-dogs—but they are too dear—
They leave a heart-ache.  All my Dresden plate,
That, I suppose, I'll give to small Annette:
She will take care of it, I know.  And yet
I hate to think of others handling it.
Lord, I'm a silly woman!—but I see
Things I have lived with twenty year and more…
Stool of mahogany…
The Chinese cabinet with the broken door
That rocks so in an earthquake; and the spread
That once a silly girl made for her bed
A score of years ago.…
Well, twenty years—and I am still a maid
And loath to die
Though they say death brings peace.…
But there's my bird with yellow, fluffy wings;
And the wee stand of inlaid ivory.…

I do not want to die!
Lord, must I leave these things?