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Sweet Maiden, for so calm a life
Too bitter seemed thine end;
But thou hadst won thee, ere that strife,
A more than earthly Friend.
We miss thee in thy place at school,
And on thine homeward way,
Where violets by the reedy pool
Peep out so shyly gay:
Where thou, a true and gentle guide,
And rule with eye and hand.
And if we miss, oh, who may speak
The pallet where thy fresh young cheek
How many a tearful longing look
In silence seeks thee yet,
Where in its own familiar nook
Thy fireside chair is set?
And oft when little voices dim
Are feeling for the note
In chanted prayer, or psalm, or hymn,
Comes gushing o'er a sudden thought
Of her who led the strain,
How oft such music home she brought-
O say not so! the springtide air
Who knows how near, each holy hour,
May linger, where in shrine or bower
The mourner's prayer is said?
And He who willed thy tender frame
(O stern yet sweet decree!)
Should wear the martyr's robe of flame,
A garland in that region bright
Where infant spirits reign,
Tinged faintly with such golden light
Nay doubt it not: his tokens sure
Even as we read of Saints of yore:
ON BEING PRESSED TO GO TO A MASQUED BALL
Oh, lead me not in Pleasure's train,
But art thou sure the goddess leads
The fairest shells for me to seek,
The rose that blossomed on his cheek
Exulting in his form and face,
Through the bright veil that beauty wove,
A soul-all harmony and love!
Fair as the dreams by fancy given,
Whene'er he raised his eyes to heaven,
More lovely than the morning ray,
And since that agonizing hour,
That sowed the seed of mourning years,
Beauty has lost its cheering power,
I see it through a mother's tears.
Soon was my dream of bliss o'ercast,
A few dark days of terror past,
And joy and Frederick bloom no more.
THE DEATH BED.
We watched her breathing through the night,
Her breathing soft and low,
As in her breast the wave of life
Kept heaving to and fro.
So silently we seemed to speak,
So slowly moved about,
As we had lent her half our powers,
Our very hopes belied our fears,
Our fears our hopes belied;
We thought her dying when she slept,
For when the morn came dim and sad,
Her quiet eyelids closed-she had
LINES WRITTEN IN RICHMOND CHURCHYARD, YORKSHIRE.
Methinks it is good to be here;
If Thou wilt, let us build-but for whom?
Nor Elias nor Moses appear,
But the shadows of eve that encompass the gloom,
Shall we build to Ambition? oh, no!
Affrighted, he shrinketh away;
For see! they would pin him below,
In a small narrow cave, and, begirt with cold clay,
To Beauty? ah, no!—she forgets
Nor knows the foul worm that he frets
The skin which but yesterday fools could adore,
For the smoothness it held, or the tint which it wore. 15
Shall we build to the purple of Pride—
The trappings which dizen the proud?
Alas! they are all laid aside;
And here's neither dress nor adornment allowed,
But the long winding-sheet and the fringe of the shroud.
To Riches? alas! 'tis in vain ;
Who hid, in their turns have been hid :
The treasures are squandered again;
And here in the grave are all metals forbid,
To the pleasures which Mirth can afford—
The revel, the laugh, and the jeer?
Ah! here is a plentiful board!
But the guests are all mute as their pitiful cheer,
Shall we build to Affection and Love?
Ah, no! they have withered and died,
Or fled with the spirit above ;
Friends, brothers, and sisters, are laid side by side,
Yet none have saluted, and none have replied.
Unto Sorrow?-The dead cannot grieve;
Not a sob, not a sigh meets mine ear,
Which compassion itself could relieve!
Ah! sweetly they slumber, nor hope, love, nor fear—