Though she wrote many poems and stories for children, many of her works also focus on death, as in "When I Am Dead":
When I am dead and buried underground,
And your dear eyes still greet the shining day,
Will you remember — "Thus she used to say —
And thus, and thus, her low voice used to sound"?
Will memory wander like a ghost around
The well-known paths — tread the accustomed way;
Or will you pluck fresh blossoms of the May,
And waste no rose upon my burial mound?
I would not have your life to sorrow wed —
Your joyous youth grief-stricken for my sake;—
Though black-winged Care her home with you should make,
Yet vain would be the scalding tears you shed;
And though your heart for love of me should break,
How could I hear, or heed, if I were dead?
And then there's her poem "What She Said In Her Tomb," which concludes with a similar message:
Now, at last, I lie asleep
Where no morrows break, —
Why take heed to tread so soft? —
Fear you lest I wake?
Time there was when I was red
As a rose in June
With the kisses of your lips, —
Ah, they failed me soon.
Now they would not warm my mouth
Though they fell like rain:
I am marble, dear; and they
Marble cannot stain.
Ah, if you had loved me more,
Been content to wait,
Some time you had found the key
To Love's inmost gate.
Why, indeed, should any man
Wait for Autumn days,
When the present Summer wooes
To her rosy ways?
Only, — now I lie here dead;
I shall not awake,
And you need not tread so soft
For my deaf ears' sake.