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PEACE! what can tears avail ?
THE DYING GERTRUDE TO WALDEThe spirit of lovely life is fading, –
GRAVE. And she must die !
GERTRUDE OF WYOMING." Why looks the lover wroth, the friend upbraid
CLASP me a little longer on the brink Reply, reply!
Of fate! while I can feel thy dear caress ;
And when this heart hath ceased to beat, -0, Hath she not dwelt too long
think, Midst pain, and grief, and wrong?
And let it mitigate thy woe's excess, Then why not die ?
That thou hast been to me all tenderness, Why suffer again her doom of sorrow,
And friend to more than human friendship just. And hopeless lie ?
Oh! by that retrospect of happiness, Why nurse the trembling dream until tomorrow? And by the hopes of an immortal trust, Reply, reply!
God shall assuage thy pangs, when I am laid in
dust! Death! Take her to thine arms, In all her stainless charms !
Go, Henry, go not back, when I depart,
The scene thy bursting tears too deep will move, And with her fly To heavenly haunts, where, clad in brightness,
Where my dear father took thee to his heart,
And Gertrude thought it ecstasy to rove
Of peace, imagining her lot was cast
And must this parting be our very last ? Give me one look before my life be gone, No! I shall love thee still, when death itself is Oh! give me that, and let me not despair, past.
One last fond look ! and now repeat the
prayer." Half could I bear, methinks, to leave this He had his wish, had more: I will not paint earth,
The lovers' meeting ; she beheld him faint, And thee, more loved than aught beneath the sun, With tender fears, she took a nearer view, If I had lived to smile but on the birth
Her terrors doubling as her hopes withdrew ; Of one dear pledge ; — but shall there then be He tried to smile; and, half succeeding, said, none,
“Yes! I must die ” — and hope forever fled. In future time, no gentle little one,
Still long she nursed him; tender thoughts To clasp thy neck, and look, resembling me?
meantime Yet seems it, even while life's last pulses run,
Were interchanged, and hopes and views sublime. A sweetness in the cup of death to be,
To her he came to die, and every day
With him she prayed, to him his Bible read,
She came with smiles the hour of pain to cheer,
Apart she sighed ; alone, she shed the tear; Yes ! there are real mourners,
- I have seen Then, as if breaking from a cloud, she gave A fair sad girl, mild, suffering, and serene ; Fresh light, and gilt the prospect of the grave. Attention (through the day) her duties claimed, One day he lighter seemed, and they forgot And to be useful as resigned she aimed ; The care, the dread, the anguish of their lot; Neatly she drest, nor vainly seemed t expect They spoke with cheerfulness, and seemed to Pity for grief, or pardon for neglect ;
think, But when her wearied parents sunk to sleep,
Yet said not so —
“Perhaps he will not sink.” She sought her place to meditate and weep ; A sudden brightness in his look appeared, Then to her mind was all the past displayed, A sudden vigor in his voice was heard ; That faithful memory brings to sorrow's aid : She had been reading in the Book of Prayer, For then she thought on one regretted youth, And led him forth, and placed him in his chair ; Her tender trust, and his unquestioned truth ; Lively he seemed, and spake of all he knew, In every place she wandered, where they'd been, The friendly many, and the favorite few; And sadly-sacred held the parting scene, Nor one that day did he to mind recall, Where last for sea he took his leave ; that place But she has treasured, and she loves them all ; With double interest would she nightly trace ! When in her way she meets them, they arpear
Happy he sailed, and great the care she took, Peculiar people, — death has made them dear. That he should softly sleep and smartly look ; He named his friend, but then his hand she prest, White was his better linen, and his check And fondly whispered, “Thou must go to rest." Was made more trim than any on the deck ; "I go,” he said ; but as he spoke, she found And every comfort men at sea can know, His hand more cold, and fluttering was the Was hers to buy, to make, and to bestow :
sound; For he to Greenland sailed, and much she told, Then gazed affrighted ; but she caught a last, How he should guard against the climate's cold ; A dying look of love, and all was past ! Yet saw not danger ; dangers he'd withstood, She placed a decent stone his grave above, Nor could she trace the fever in his blood. Neatly engraved, an offering of her love :
His messmates smiled at flushings on his cheek, For that she wrought, for that forsook her bed, And he too smiled, but seldom would he speak; Awake alike to duty and the dead ; For now he found the danger, felt the pain, She would have grieved, had friends presumed to With grievous symptoms he could not explain.
spare, He called his friend, and prefaced with a sigh The least assistance, – 't was her proper care. A lover's message,
“Thomas, I must die ; Here will she come, and on the grave will sit, Would I could see my Sally, and could rest Folding her arms, in long abstracted fit: My throbbing temples on her faithful breast, But if observer pass, will take her round, And gazing go !-- if not, this trifle take, And careless seem, for she would not be found ; And say, till death I wore it for her sake: Then go again, and thus her hours employ, Yes! I must die — blow on, sweet breeze, blow While visions please her, and while woes destroy. on,