19th Century Women's Poetry

Mary Mathews Adams (?-1902)

Born in Brooklyn, Mary Mathews was educated at the Packer Institute. Her first husband, Alfred S. Barnes, was a publisher; several years after his death, she married Charles Kendall Adams, president of the University of Wisconsin. The Choir Visibile, a collection of her poems, was published in 1897. Adams died in Redlands, CA, in 1902.

Dead Love
Two loves had I. Now both are dead,
And both are marked by tombstones white.
The one stands in the churchyard near,
The other hid from mortal sight.
The name on one all men may read,
And learn who lies beneath the stone;
The other name is written where
No eyes can read it but my own.

On one I plant a living flower,
And cherish it with loving hands;>BR> I shun the single withered leaf
That tells me where the other stands.

To that white tombstone on the hill
In summer days I often go;
From this white stone that nearer lies
I turn me with unuttered woe.

O God, I pray, if love must die,
And make no more of life a part,
Let witness be where all can see,
And not within a living heart.

[AA; c.1897]