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Where the fondly-lov'd in pain lay low,
In pain and sleepless dread !
By the dying babe her place,
Yet not behold its face !
Darkness in chieftain's hall!
Darkness in peasant’s cot!
Sat mourning o'er her lot.
For blood hath flowed like rain,
Mrs. HEMANS. From 1808 to 1835.
His few surviving comrades saw
Come to the bridal chamber, Death;
Come when the heart beats high and warm,
But to the hero, when his sword
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 ;
In such an ecstasy !
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,
In the next valley-glades :
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.
Change by a Law that we may not control;
Ye ice-falls ! ye that from the mountain's brow