I lay in silence, dead. A woman came
And laid a rose upon my breast and said:
"May God be merciful." She spoke my name,
And added: "It is strange to think him dead.
"He loved me well enough, but 'twas his way
To speak it lightly." Then, beneath her breath:
"Besides" -- I knew what further she would say,
But then a footfall broke my dream of death.
Today the words are mine. I lay the rose
Upon her breast, and speak her name, and deem
It strange indeed that she is dead. God knows
I had more pleasure in the other dream.
This work is something of an oddity, especially when compared with the rest of Ambrose Bierce's work, being decidedly more sentimental than most thought this misanthrope could be. It was written on April 27, 1905 upon his hearing of the death of his wife, one Mary Ellen Day. She was known to him as Mollie, and he was known to have treated rather poorly. A note of regret?