That we were taken early? Yes,
that was a shame.
Shelley and Schubert; you may guess
the other names.
But what is early, how define
those moments sheer
against her breast? Did that sublime
Away all thoughts of transience?
Ask Keats. Aye, go
ask Chatterton. Who had more sense
than we can know.
Trumbull Stickney was a marvellous American poet and classical scholar of the late 1890s. This poem is about those who were peripherally involved with or affected by the suicide of Clover Adams, Henry Adams’s wife, in 1885.