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In healthy merriment--when tidings came,
A child was born; and tidings came again,
That she who gave it birth was sick to death,
So swift trod sorrow on the heels of joy!
We gather'd round her bed, and bent our knees,
In fervent supplication to the Throne
Of Mercy; and perfumed our prayers with sighs
Sincere, and penitential tears and looks
Of self-abasement. But we sought to stay
An angel on the earth, a spirit ripe
For heaven ; and Mercy, in her love, refused;
Most merciful, as oft, when seeming least !
Most gracious when she seem'd the most to frown !
The room I well remember : and the bed
On which she lay ; and all the faces too,
That crowded dark and mournfully around.
Her father there, and mother bending stood,
And down their aged cheeks fell many drops
Of bitterness; her husband, too, was there,
And brothers; and they wept-her sisters, too,
Did weep and sorrow comfortless; and I,
Too, wept, though not to weeping given : and all
Within the house was dolorous and sad.
This I remember well, but better still
The dying eye :-that eye alone was bright,
And brighter grew, as nearer death approach'd;
As I have seen the gentle little flower
Look fairest in the silver beam, which fell
Reflected from the thunder-cloud that soon
Came down, and o'er the desert scatter'd far
And wide its loveliness. She made a sign
To bring her babe ;-'twas brought, and by her placed.
She look'd upon its face that neither smiled
Nor wept, nor knew who gazed upon't, and laid
Her hand upon its little breast, and sought
For it with look that seem’d to penetrate
The heavens—unutterable blessings-such
As God to dying parents only granted,
For infants left behind them in the world :
“ God keep my child !” we heard her say, and heard
No more: the Angel of the Covenant
Was come, and faithful to his promise stood,
Prepared to walk with her through death's dark vale.
And now her eyes grew bright, and brighter still,
Too bright for ours to look upon, suffused
With many tears, and closed without a cloud.
They set as sets the morning-star, which goes
Not down behind the darken'd west, nor hides
Obscured among the tempests of the sky,
But melts away into the light of heaven.



DEATH found strange beauty on that cherub brow,

And dash'd it out, There was a tint of rose On cheek and lip ; he touch'd the veins with ice, And the rose faded. Forth from those blue eyes There spake a wishful tenderness,-a doubt Whether to grieve or sleep, which Innocence Alone can wear. With ruthless haste he bound The silken fringes of their curtaining lids

For ever. There had been a murmuring sound,
With which the babe would claim its mother's ear,
Charming her even to tears. The spoiler set
His seal of silence. But there beam'd a smile,
So fix'd and holy, from that marble brow,-
Death gazed and left it there; he dared not steal
The signet-ring of Heaven.




O trace the bright rose, fading fast

From a fair daughter's cheek;
To read upon her pensive brow

The fears she will not speak;
To mark that deep and sudden flush,

So beautiful and brief,
Which tells the progress of decay--

This is a Father's grief.

When langour from her joyless couch,

Has scared sweet sleep away,
And heaviness, that comes with night,

Departs not with the day;
To meet the fond endearing smile,

That seeks, with false relief,
Awhile to calm his bursting heart-

This is a Father's grief.

To listen where her gentle voice

Its welcome music shed,
And find within his lonely halls

The silence of the dead ;
To look, unconsciously, for her,

The chosen and the chief
Of earthly joys—and look in vain-

This is a Father's grief.
To stand beside the sufferer's couch,

While life is ebbing fast;
To mark that once illumined eye

Witb death's dull film o'ercast;
To watch the struggles of the frame

When earth has no relief,
And hopes to heaven are breathed in vain-

This is a Father's grief.
And not when that dread hour is past,

And life is pain no more-
Not when the dreary tomb hath closed

O'er her so loved before,
Not then does kind oblivion come

To lend his woes relief,
But with him to the grave he bears

A Father's rooted grief.
For, Oh! to dry a mother's tears,

Another babe may bloom :
But what remains on earth for him

Whose last is in the tomb?
To think his child is blest above-

To hope their parting brief,
These, these may soothe—but death alone

Can heal a Father's grief.



Toll on, toll on! A son of man is passing to his rest, A wayward child hath sought its parent breast :

Toll on, toll on !

Bear on the dead : On the dark bier the home-come wanderer lies ; Dimm'd is the lustre of those rayless eyes,

Their light is fled.

On, slowly on: The varying dreams of love, of pride, of power ; The aspiring hopes of many a lofty hour,

With him are gone.

Tread soft and light: That palsied heart no more with life is warm, The quick’ning essence from that silent form

Hath wing’d its flight !

Look on him now:
The cold, still torpor of the ice-bound wave,
The chilling signet of the opening grave,

Is on that brow.

But on, toll on
A struggling spirit is at length unbound-
A wearied pilgrim hath a resting found:

Toll on, toll on!

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