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With an old familiar fondness and an earnestness of love. Brother, I to thee was ever as a storm-cloud on the hills, Lowering o'er the rocks and caverns and the laughter of

the rills : Yet I've thought at times, my brother, from the sunshine

of thy life, Passing rainbow gleams have fallen on my spirit-world of

strife : For when every fount was wormwood, every star had ceased

to shine, It was bliss in dreams to ponder how unlike thy lot to mine. Yet, in childhood, I remember how our sainted mother

said Often on bright Sabbath eves, and thrice upon her dying


That far scenes would crowd upon her, when she look'd on

me and thee, In the distance, dream-like dawning, from the glorious


She was kneeling, as she told us, at her Saviour's blessed


Leaning on her harp, which warbled (as she knelt) heaven's But the thrill of that communion, and the smiles that on

music sweet

her fell, And the melody of worship, words, she said, might never


Still the dream grew clear and clearer, softer still that

music's tone, And she saw she was not kneeling in that glorious light


For beside her were two spirits (well she knew them), I

and thou; Life and light and love, all blended, like soft rainbows, on

our brow. And like us in blest communion kneeling, singing as we

sung, On the hand of each of us a gentler lovelier angel hung.

Often since I've mused, my brother, when my heart was

rent, if this

Were a heaven-sent dream, prophetic of a far-off home of

bliss, Or a beautiful life-picture by affection's fingers drawn, But which, like my earthly joys, should fade, fade, fade

away at dawn.

Weep not, brother! thou hast found that angel of the far-off

land, Whom our mother saw there kneeling, gently clinging to

thy hand. I, too, have a tale to tell thee (would that it may end in

light), Though a tale of sin and sorrow, I can better tell at night. Who could speak of sad hearts broken by himself, of tear

drown'd eyes,

And of wither'd hopes and feelings, underneath blue laugh

ing skies? Sorrow clings to sorrow's raiment - grief must have her

twilight wan — Moan, ye winds and woods and waves, and let the embers

smoulder on.

Gaze with me a moment down the billowy ocean of our life, Which with tears and fitful radiance seems mysteriously

rife :

In the distance, like the earliest flush of morning o'er the

hills, Even here, through cloud and gloom, a dewy mellow light


Still it grows upon my sight intensely beautiful and grand, From the land of childhood streaming, childhood's golden

faery-land: When Time went on sunshine wheels, on wings of breezy

joyaunce by, Every feeling, like the sky-lark, from the earth and to the

sky. Then, perchance, no human seer that look'd upon our reck

less brow, Could have prophesied the diverse pathway we are travel

ling now. But the first black cloud that shadow'd childhood's blue

pellucid years, Gloom’d, rose, cover'd, broke upon us with a sudden dash

of tears



the morn, the tidings of our father's victory


Earn'd with precious drops of blood — the dew, an' if ye

will, of fame; Broke— the next sad post a letter, edged with black, too

surely told That his heart was still for ever, and his lips for ever cold. Then our mother - day by day she struggled with her

choking grief

Oh, she could not — but beside us wither'd, like a dying leaf: And, when leaves should die, in autumn, her the first of all


year, Laid we down, with sighs and weeping, on her cold sepul

chral bier; And with faltering listless footsteps slowly sought, when all

was o’er, Hand in hand our desolate home; though desolate, ours,

alas, no more. We were parted each alone, ’mid stranger hearts and

faces strange: Dreary seem'd the waste of lifetime, like a barren shore, to

range. But a gentle eye fell on thee — seem'd it but a sister's love? Pity's tears, that wept thy sorrows, from one tenderer than

the dove? Oh, ye grew for five brief summers there together, side by

side, Till she stood in beauty by thee, thine own loving lovely

bride; Blushing, trembling, till the vow to love thee - then her

face grew bright, And intense affection o'er her threw a beauty like the light.

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