« PreviousContinue »
But by your life of lowly faith,
And by your joyful hope in death,
Guide me till on some brighter shore,
The sever'd wreath is bound once more.
Holy ye were, and good and true!
No change can cloud my thoughts of you;
Guide me like you to live and die,
And reach my Father's house on high!
She sleeps !but not the free and sunny sleep
That lightly on the brow of childhood lies;
Though happy be her rest, and soft and deep,
Yet, ere it sank upon her shadow'd eyes,
Thoughts of past scenes and kindred graves o'erswept
Her soul's meek stillness—she bad prayed and wept.
And now in visions to her couch they come,
The early lost-the beautiful – the dead-
That unto her bequeath'd a mournful home,
Whence with their voices all sweet laughter fled;
They rise the sisters of her youth arise,
As from the world where no frail blossom dies.
And well the sleeper knows them not of earth-
Not as they were when binding up the flowers,
legends round the winter-hearth,
Braiding their long fair hair for festal hours ;--
These things are past :--a spiritual gleam;
A solemn glory, robes them in that dream.
Yet, if the glee of life's fresh budding years
In those pure aspects may no more be read,
Thence, too, bath sorrow melted-and the tears
Which o'er their mother's holy dust they shed, Are all effaced;
there earth hath left no sign, Save its deep love, still touching every line. VOL. II.
But oh, more soft, more tender, breathing more
A thought of pity than in vanish'd days; While hov'ring silently and brightly o'er
The lone one's head, they meet her spirit's gaze With their immortal eyes, they seem to say, “ Yet sister! yet we love thee-come away! "Twill fade, the radiant dream! and will she not
Wake with more painful yearning at her heart ?
Will not her home seem yet a lonelier spot,
Her task more sad, when those bright shadows part ?
And the green summer after them look dim,
And sorrow's tone be in the bird's wild bymn?
But let her hope be strong, and let the dead
Visit her soul in heaven's calin beauty still;
Be their names utter'd, be their memory spread,
Yet round the place they never more may fill!
All is not over with earth's broken tie
Where, where should sisters love, if not on high !
" And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter.
“ And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?
" And he cried unto the Lord; and the Lord shewed him a tree, which, when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet."-Exod. xv. 23-25.
Where is the tree the prophet threw,
Into the bitter wave?
Left it no scion where it grew.
The thirsty soul to save ?
Hath nature lost the hidden power,
Its precious foliage shed ?
Is there no distant eastern bower,
With such sweet leaves o'erspread:
Nay, wherefore ask ?-since gifts are ours,
Which yet may well imbue,
Earth's many troubled founts with showers
Of heaven's own balmy dew.
Oh! mingled with the cup of grief,
Let faith's deep spirit be,
And every prayer shall win a leaf,
From that blest healing tree!
Hast thou through Eden's wild wood vales pursued
Each mountain-scene magnificently rude,
Nor with attention's lifted eye revered,
That modest stone which pious Pembroke reared,
Which still records, beyond the Pencil's power,
The silent sorrows of a parting hour.
Pleasures of Memory.
Mother and child! whose blending tears
Have sanctified the place,
Where to the love of many years
Was given one last embrace;
0! ye have set a spell of power
Deep in the records of that hour;
A spell to awaken solemn thought,
A still small under tone,
That calls back days of childhood, fraught
With many a treasure gone;
And smites, perchance, the hidden source,
Though long untroubled, of remorse.
For who that gazes on the stone
Which marks your parting spot,
Who but a mother's love hath known,
The one love changing not?
Alas! and haply learned its worth,
First with the sound of " earth to earth ? "
But thou, true hearted daughter! thou
O'er whose bright honoured head
Blessings and tears of holiest flow
Even here were fondly shed;
Thou from the passion of thy grief
In its full tide couldst draw relief.
For oh! though painful be the excess,
The might wherewith it swells,
In nature's fount no bitterness
Of Nature's mingling dwells,
And thou hadst not, by wrong or pride,
Poisoned the free and healthful tide.
But didst thou meet the face no more
Which thy young heart first knew?
And all-was all in this world o'er
With ties thus close and true ?
It was ; on earth no other eye
Could give thee back thine infancy.
No other voice could pierce the maze
Where deep within thy breast,
The sounds and dreams of other days
With memory lay at rest;
No other smile to thee could bring
A gladdening like the breath of Spring.
Yet while thy place of weeping still
Its lone memorial keeps,
While on thy name, midst wood and hill,
The quiet sunshine sleeps,
And touches, in each graven line,
Of reverential thought a sign;
Can I, while yet these tokens wear
The impress of the dead,
Think of the love embodied there,
As of a vision fled ?
A perished thing, the joy and flower
And glory of an earthly hour?
Not so !-I will not bow me so
To thoughts that breathe despair;
A loftier faith we need below,
Life's farewell words to bear !
Mother and child !-your tears are past.
Surely your hearts have met at last
The stranger's heart! oh, wound it not !
A yearning anguish is its lot;
In the green shadow of thy tree
The stranger finds no rest with thee.
Thou thinkst the vine's low rustling leaves
Glad music round thy household eaves;
To him that sound hath sorrow's tone-
The stranger's heart is with his own.
Thou thinkst thy children's laughing play
A lovely sight at fall of day!
Then are the stranger's thoughts opprest-
His mother's voice comes o'er his breast.
Thou thinkst it sweet when friend to friend
Beneath one roof in prayer may blend;
Then doth the strangers eye grow dim-
Far, far are those who prayed with him.
Thy hearth, thy home, thy vintage land—.
The voices of thy kindred band;
Oh, midst them all when blest thou art,
Deal gently with the stranger's heart!
“Ay, warrior, arm! and wear thy plume
On a proud and fearless brow!".
I am the lord of the lonely tomb,
And a mightier one than thou !
Bid thy soul's love farewell, young chief!
Bid her a long farewell!