She sits beside the window. All who pass
Turn once again to gaze on her sweet face.
She is so fair; but soon, too soon, alas,
To lie down in her last resting-place.

No gems are brighter than her sparkling eyes,
Her brow like polished marble, white and fair –
Her cheeks are glowing as the sunset skies –
You would not dream that Death was lurking there.

But, Oh! he lingers closely at her side,
And when the forest dons her Autumn dress,
We know that he will claim her as his bride,
And earth will number one fair spirit less.

She sees the meadow robed in richest green –
The laughing stream – the willows bending o’er.
With tear-dimmed eyes she views each sylvan scene,
And thinks earth never was so fair before.

We do not sigh for heaven, till we have known
Something of sorrow, something of grief and woe,
And as a summer day her life has flown.
Oh, can we wonder she is loth to go?

She has no friends in heaven: all are here.
No lost one waits her in that unknown land,
And life grows doubly, trebly sweet and dear
As day by day she nears the mystic strand.

We love her and we grieve to see her go.
But it is Christ who calls her to His breast,
And He shall greet her, and she soon shall know
The joys of souls that dwell among the blest.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Ella Wheeler Wilcox's poem Fading*

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