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Where the fondly-lov'd in pain lay low,

In pain and sleepless dread !
For the mother, doom'd unseen to keep

By the dying babe her place,
And to feel its flitting pulse, and weep,

Yet not behold its face !

Darkness in chieftain's hall!

Darkness in peasant’s cot!
While freedom, under that shadowy pall,

Sat mourning o'er her lot.
Oh ! the fireside's peace we well may prize,

For blood hath flowed like rain,
Pour'd forth to make sweet sanctuaries
Of England's homes again.

Mrs. HEMANS. From 1808 to 1835.

His few surviving comrades saw
His smile when rang their proud hurrah,
And the red field was won ;
Then saw in death his eyelids close
Calmly, as to a night's repose,
Like flowers at set of sun.

Come to the bridal chamber, Death;
Come to the mother's, when she feels
For the first time her first-born's breath ;
Come when the blessed seals
Which close the pestilence are broke,
And crowded cities wail its stroke;
Come in consumption's ghastly form,
The earthquake's shock, the ocean's storm ;

Come when the heart beats high and warm,
With banquet-song, and dance, and wine ;
And thou art terrible; the tear,
The groan, the knell, the pall, the bier,
And all we know, or dream, or fear
Of agony, are thine.

But to the hero, when his sword
Has won the battle for the free,
Thy voice sounds like a prophet's word,
And in its hollow tones are heard
The thanks of millions yet to be.
Come, when his task of fame is wrought;
Come, with her laurel-leaf, blood-bought;
Come in her crowning hour; and then
Thy sunken eyes' unearthly light
To him is welcome as the sight
Of sky and stars to prison'd men.
Thy grasp is welcome as the hand
Of brother in a foreign land ;
Thy summons welcome as the cry
Which told the Indian isles were nigh
To the world-seeking Genoese,
When the land wind, from woods of palm,
And orange groves, and fields of balm,
Blew o'er the Haytien seas.


I CANNOT see what flowers are at my feet,

Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs, But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet

Wherewith the seasonable month endows

The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild ;

White hawthorn, and the pastoral oglantine ; Fast-fading violets cover'd up in leaves ;

And mid-May's eldest child The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine, The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.

Darkling I listen ; and for many a time

I have been half in love with easeful DeathCall'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme,

To take into the air my quiet breath; Now more than ever seems it rich to die,

To cease upon the midnight, with no pain ;
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad

In such an ecstasy !
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain-
To thy high requiem become a sod.

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird !

No hungry generations tread thee down; The voice I hear this passing night was heard

In ancient days by emperor and clown: Perhaps the self-same song that found a path

Through the sad heart of Ruth, when sick for home She stood in tears among the alien corn;

The same that ofttimes hath Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam Of perilous seas, in fairy lands forlorn.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell

To toll me back from thee to my sole self I Adieu ! the fancy cannot cheat so well

As she is famed to do, deceiving elf.

Adieu ! adieu ! thy plaintive anthem fades

Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side ; and now 'tis buried deep

In the next valley-glades :
Was it a vision, or a waking dream ?
Fled is that music:—do I wake or sleep ?

F. Keats. From 1796 to 1821.

The lake is there, the hills their distance keep,

The tall trees stand as if they mourned for ever ; But leave the widowed house alone to weep,

Nor seek the widowed heart from grief to sever.

For he is gone that was to us a smile,

An honest face to welcome when he came; Short was the time, but yet a weary while

When Death was struggling with the shattered frame.

And many thoughts he had, as may be guessed,

And shows of earth that with the vision blended : Shows that at times perplexed, but later blessed

The spirit equipped just ere the strife was ended.

Perhaps the latest object to employ

His parting thought upon the death-bed pillow, Was the dear image of his orphan boy,

With small foot challenging the frisky billow.

Whatever sight or sound possessed him last,

Whatever sound of nature tolled his knell, Gentle the sounds and fair the forms that past

Before his closing eye, and all was well.

Yes, all was well, for 'twas the will of Him

Who knows both when to sow and when to reap; And now, amid the smiling cherubim,

Beholds the tears of them he bade to weep. False is the creed, because the heart is dead,

That blames the widow's or the orphan's tear; Eyes that beheld the Lord full oft were red

With human sorrow while they tarried here. Mourn, for 'tis good for all of us to mourn,

In this dark valley where our way we grope; Our very sorrow proves us not forlorn ;

We mourn, but not as mourners without hope.
The lake is still the same, the changeful skies

Change by a Law that we may not control;
Sage Nature is not bound to sympathise
With every passion of a single soul.


Ye ice-falls ! ye that from the mountain's brow
Adown enormous ravines slope amain-
Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice,
And stopped at once amid their maddest plunge !
Motionless torrents! silent cataracts !
Who made you glorious as the gates of heaven
Beneath the keen full moon ? Who bade the sun
Clothe you with rainbows ? Who, with living flowers
Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet ?
God ! let the torrents, like a shout of nations
Answer! and let the ice-plains echo, God !
God! sing ye meadow-streams with gladsome voice !
Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds;
And they too have a voice, yon piles of snow,
And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God !

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