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Good and evil like a dream
Half obscured and shadowy seem,
Yet with a changeless love my soul remembereth her,
Yea—it remembereth her :
Close by her blessed side, make ye my sepulchre.
Death found strange beauty on that polished brow,
And dashed it out. There was a tint of rose
On cheek and lip. He touched 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 may wear.
With ruthless haste he bound
The silken fringes of those curtaining lids
Forever. There had been a murmuring sound
With which the babe would claim its mother's ear,
Charming her even to tears. The spoiler set
The seal of silence. But there beamed a smile,
So fixed, so holy, from that cherub brow,
Death gazed, and left it there. He dared not steal
The signet-ring of heaven.
When glowing in the eastern sky,
The Sabbath morning meets the eye,
And o'er a weary, careworn scene,
Gleams like the ark-dove's leaf of
How welcome over hill and dale,
Thy hallowed summons loads the gale,
Sweet bell! Church bell!
When earthly joys and sorrows end,
And towards our long repose we tend,
How mournfully thy tone doth call
The weepers to the funeral,
And to the last abode of clay,
With solemn knell mark out the way,
Sad bell! Church bell!
If to the clime where pleasures reign,
We through a Saviour's love attain,
If freshly to an angel's thought,
Earth's unforgotten scenes are brought,
Will not thy voice, that warned to prayer,
Be gratefully remembered there,
Blessed bell ! Church bell ?
BESIDE the dear domestic bower,
There sprang a tree of healing power ;
Its leaflets, damp with gentle rain,
Could soothe or quell the pang of pain ;
And 'neath its shade a maiden grew,
She shared its fruit, she drank its dew.
Oft at her side a youth was seen,
With glance of love and noble mien;
At twilight hour a favored guest,
Her trembling hand he warmly pressed ;
At length with guileless heart and free,
She said, “I'll plant that tree for thee.”
Her little brother climbed her knee:
“ You must not go away from me;
The nightly prayer with me you say,
And soothe me when I'm tired of play:”
His sister's eye with tears was dim :
She said, “ I'll plant that tree for him.”
“Its roots are deep,” the mother said ;
"Beyond the darkling grave they spread;"
• Thy hand is weak,” the father cried ;
“ Too young thou art to be a bride.”
Serene she spake, “ I look above
For strength to plant the tree of love."
Before the holy priest she stood,
Her fair cheek dyed with rushing blood;
And as, with hands to heaven displayed,
Strong vows upon her soul he laid,
Her heaving breast, like fluttering bird,
Her snowy mantle wildly stirred.
But when the hallowed cirque of gold,
of deathless love the promise told,
Mysterious power her spirit felt,
And at the altar's foot she knelt:
“My God, my God, I'll cling to thee,
And plant for him that blessed tree.”
Around their home its branches spread,
Its buds she nursed, its root she fed ;
Though flaunting crowds, with giddy look,
Of toil so meek slight notice took,
Yet hovering angels marked with pride
green tree of the blessed bride.
It is not when the good obey
The summons of their God,
And meekly take the narrow couch
Beneath the burial sod,
That keenest anguish pours its wail,
Despairing o'er their rest,
For praise should mingle with the pang
That wring's the mourner's breast.
It is not when the saint departs,
Whose wealth was hid on high, That bitterest tears of grief should gush
From sad bereavement's eye;
But yet, oh friend, revered and blest,
Who from our arms this day Hast risen to gain thy perfect rest
In realms of cloudless day,
Though faith reveals thee to our view
From every sorrow free,
How shall we check the bursting tear
That wildly flows for thee?
Self-sacrificing, upright, pure,
Of feeble hope the guide,
With judgment clear, a soul subdued,
And wealth without its pride,
The widow in her lowly cell
Must long thy loss deplore, The orphans wait thy step in vain,
Thou comest to them no more.
The path of duty and of zeal,
Who now, like thee shalt tread ? And deeply for ourselves we mourn
That thou art of the dead.
Behold the babe, with ceaseless cry,
Just entering on mortality.
Oh Saviour ! thou for whom wert spread,
'Mid wondering brutes, the manger-bed,
With pity view its feeble strife,
And fan the trembling spark of life.
The boy, with giddy footsteps, strays Through hidden Danger's devious maze;
Thou ! who in childhood's wayward hour, Wert subject to thy mother's power, Withdraw his heart from Folly's snare, And in Thy wisdom let him share.
The man mature, 'mid noontide heat, Temptation's countless forms must meet; Redeemer! thou who scorn and care With meek, unanswering love didst bear, His burdens ease, his thoughts control, And with thy patience arm his soul.
The lonely stranger sorrowing roves,
An exile from the land he loves;
Thou, who but in one cottage glade
At Bethany wert welcome made,
Speak peace when deep despondence sighs,
And tell of mansions in the skies,
The mourner droops with heaving breast,
Low, where his buried idols rest ;
Remember, Thou, who once didst shed
The tear of grief o'er friendship's bed,
Remember! let thy mercy flow,
And bless for heaven those pangs of wo.
The death-struck, on his couch of pain,
Feels every earthly solace vain ;
The eye is glazed, the spirit faint,
Redeemer! cheer thy suffering saint ;
Infuse thy strength when nature dies,
And to thy presence bid him rise.