Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

Our Lady of Last Year

Our Lady of Last Year

By Genevieve K. Stephens

Our Lady of last year,
God rest her soul,
Is lost now to all years
Though grief is fresh and whole.

Our Lady rode on horseback
And carried a falcon well,
But now she sleeps too quiet
Cold as a clapperless bell.

But who will ride the horse
And who will carry the hawk
Now our Lady of last year
Lies stiff as winter stalk?

Our Lady had the lightest feet
That ever walked in manors,
The scarlet leather of her shoes
Were two bright banners.

Where will she wear them now?
Oh, God, the grave is deep,
To never see the scarlet shoes
Upon our Lady's feet.

Our Lady of last year
Had hair like fine spun silk
But hair that winds her bonnie skull
Will mold like curdled milk.

Our Lady's hands were slender
But strong to hold a heart,
The clean flesh of her hands
The worm will tear apart.

Where shall I go, our Lady?
One place is as another
And every man a stranger
Though he be my brother.

A vow to last year's Lady,
To God and all his host
That none shall drink to me
A bridegroom's toast.

Our Lady of last year,
God give her peace.
Could I but lie beside her
In sweet release.

Prairie Schooner, Vol. 21, No. 1 (Spring 1947)


Genevieve K. Stephens lived in St. Johns, Michigan. She was the author of a booklet, Leaves in the Wind, and her work appeared in numerous literary journals.

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