From the Grand Forks Daily Herald, August 6, 1915.
When I am dead, forget me dear,
For I shall never know,
Though o’er my cold and lifeless hands
Your burning tears should flow.
I’ll cancel with my living voice
The debt you’ll owe the dead—
Give me the love you’d show me then,
But give it now instead.
And bring no wreaths to deck my grave,
For I shall never care,
Though all the flowers I love the most
Should grow and wither there.
I’ll sell my chance of all the flowers
You’ll lavish when I’m dead,
For one small batch of violets now—
So give me that instead.
What saints we are when we are dead,
But what’s the use for me
Of praise that’s written on a tomb
For other eyes to see?
One simple little word of praise
By lips we worship said,
Is worth a hundred epitaphs—
Dear, say it now instead.
And faults that now are hard to bear
Oblivion then shall win.
Our sins are soon forgiven us
When we no more can sin.
But any bitter thought of me—
Keep it till I am dead;
I shall not know; I shall not care;
Say it then, instead.