The Tear-Glass


(a tear-glass was a tiny vial of glass that was used at a Roman funeral in ancient times to collect the tears of the mourners and which was then sealed and placed in the tomb. I saw one for the first time today in a little local museum.)

Dim blue-grey glass

Translucent still with iridescent sheen

A slender tube that once held

The tender tears of mourners.

Now long dry, the eyes that wept

And broken hearts are dust;

Even well-loved names are lost

As if written in the summer sands.

Yet, despite the years I seem to see

The ghostly gleam of newer tears

Still moist upon the fragile glass

And I must ask, as countless do:

Who will weep those tears for me?