The Governess by Dorinda MacDowell

The funeral of the ancient governess

but few attended, all the children grown,

though some sent orchids, out of kindliness.

They did not weep, scarce was a heartfelt sigh:

no need for shedding tears, she was no more.

She was not sad to see her last day die.

For none could know her secret wish to be

a famous writer, feted and adored:

 Wish long denied, and hid, so none should see.

She was too old for new beginnings now,

Her daily toilings were her silent thieves:

No lovely flights of fancy they’d allow.

The orchids faded in December’s cold,

no more regretful sighs would sear her soul,

her dream, like her, has withered, and grown old.