Semper Fidelis By Addie B. Billington

When free from earthly toil and thrall of pain,

Time's transient guest,

One large of heart and finely quick of brain

Found early rest.

Kind friends ordained that on his coffin lid,

Bedecked with flowers,

His last Romance should lie, forever hid

From sight of ours.

Th' unfinished page no other hand might press,

Where his had wrought,

Nor Fancy weave strange threads—to match by guess

The strands he sought.

The motives worthy and the action grand,

In faithful trust,

To bury what they could not understand,

With fleeting dust.

And if within the years there treasured lies,

'Neath Memory's trance,

Wreathed in forget-me-nots, my sacred prize—

A life's Romance—

Heav'n grant no ruthless hand the pages turn,

When I am gone,

Striving its inmost meaning to discern;

'Tis mine alone.