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“I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord.”
I Samuel i. 28.
THE PRESENTATION OF SAMUEL.
And silver cords again to earth have won me ;
And like a vine thou claspest my full heart-
How shall I hence depart ?
“How the lone paths retrace where thou wert playing
So late, along the mountains, at my side?
And I, in joyous pride,
By every place of flowers my course delaying,
Wove, ev'n as pearls, the lilies round thy hair,
Beholding thee so fair!
“And, oh! the home whence thy bright smile hath parted,
Will it not seem as if the sunny day
Turned from its door away?
While through its chambers wandering, weary-hearted,
I languish for thy voice, which past me still,
Went like a singing rill ?
“ Under the palm-trees thou no more shalt meet me,
When from the fount at evening I return,
With the full water-urn;
Nor will thy sleep's low dove-like breathings greet me,
As 'midst the silence of the stars I wake,
And watch for thy dear sake.
“And thou, will slumber's dewy cloud fall round thee,
Without thy mother's hand to smooth thy bed ?
Wilt thou not vainly spread
Thine arms, when darkness as a veil hath wound thee,
To fold my neck, and lift up, in thy fear,
A cry which none shall hear ?”
“ What have I id, my child? Will He not hear thee,
Who the young ravens heareth from their nest ?
Shall He not guard thy rest,
And, in the hush of holy midnight near thee,
Breathe o'er thy soul, and fill its dreams with joy ?-
Thou shalt sleep soft, my boy.
“I give thee to thy God—the God that gave thee,
A well-spring of deep gladness, to my heart !
And, precious as thou art,
And pure as dew of Hermon, He shall have thee,
My own, my beautiful, my undefiled!
And thou shalt be His child.
Therefore, farewell !—I go, my soul may fail me,
As the heart panteth for the water-brooks,
Yearning for thy sweet looks.
But thou, my first-born, droop not, nor bewail me ;
Thou in the Shadow of the Rock shalt dwell,
The Rock of Strength.—Farewell !”
Oh! the day is very bright, father, as lovely as the May,
And in the green woods merrily the happy children play;
But wearily, oh! wearily the long, glad day I sigh;
For they have all a mother's love, but no mother now have I.
There's Martha ; led by mother's hand through lanes where roses blow;
They gather Spring's blue violets and white daisies as they go;
And Mary's mother smoothes her hair, till soft as silk it be:
Oh, father! will my mother ne'er come back again to me?
Oh! I've lingered in the merry woods, where all was green and glad ; Where Nature dreamed to Music, and the flowers were glory-clad ;
Where every hedge was snowed with buds, and hung with honey
bees; But mother then was gone, and I found no joy in these.
Oh, father! never more can I forget each holy day,
When mother clasped my little hands, and taught me how to pray;