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Oh! I could gaze for ever
Upon that waxen face:
So passionless, so pure!
The little shrine was sure

An angel's dwelling-place.

Thou weepest, childless mother!
Ay, weep-'t will ease thine heart-
He was thy first-born son,
Thy first, thine only one,
"T is hard from him to part!

"Tis hard to lay thy darling
Deep in the damp cold earth-
His empty crib to see,
His silent nursery,
Once gladsome with his mirth.

To meet again in slumber

His small mouth's rosy kiss;
Then waken'd with a start
By thine own throbbing heart,
His twining arms to miss.

To feel, half conscious why,
A dull, heart-sinking weight,
Till memory on thy soul
Flashes the painful whole,

That thou art desolate.

And then to lie and weep,

And think the livelong night,
(Feeling thine own distress
With accurate greediness)-
Of every past delight.

Of all his winning ways,
His pretty playful smiles,
His joy at sight of thee,
His tricks, his mimicry,

And all his little wiles!

Oh! these are recollections

Round mothers' hearts that cling

That mingle with the tears
And smiles of after years,
With oft awakening.

But thou wilt then, fond mother!
In after years look back

(Time brings such wondrous easing). With sadness not unpleasing,

E'en on this gloomy track.

Thou 'It say, 'My first-born blessing!
It almost broke my heart
When thou wert forced to go;
And yet, for thee, I know,
"T was better to depart.

"I look around, and see

The evil ways of men; And, oh beloved child! I'm more than reconciled

To thy departure then.

"The little arms that clasp'd me,
The innocent lips that prest,
Would they have been as pure
Till now, as when of yore

I lull'd thee on my breast?

"Now, when the hour arrives
From flesh that sets me free,
Thy spirit may await,
The first at heaven's gate,
To meet and welcome me."



To mark the sufferings of the babe,
That cannot speak its woe;
To see the infant tears gush forth,
Yet know not why they flow:
To meet the meek uplifted eye,

That fain would ask relief,
Yet can but tell of agony,-
THIS is a mother's grief.

Through dreary days and darker nights,
To trace the march of death;
To hear the faint and frequent sigh,
The quick and shorten'd breath:
To watch the last dread strife draw near
And pray that struggle brief,
Though all is ended with its close-
THIS is a mother's grief!

To see, in one short hour, decay'd
The hope of future years,

To feel how vain a father's prayers,
How vain a mother's tears;

To think the cold grave now must close
O'er what was once the chief

Of all the treasured joys of earth—
THIS is a mother's grief!

Yet when the first wild throb is past
Of anguish and despair,
To lift the eye of faith to heaven,
And think, "My child is there!"
THIS best can dry the gushing tears,
THIS yields the heart relief;
Until the Christian's pious hope
O'ercomes a mother's grief.



I ASK'D them why the verdant turf was riven
From its young rooting, and with silent.lip
They pointed to a new-made chasm among
The marble-pillar'd mansions of the dead.
Who goeth to his rest in yon damp couch?
The tearless crowd past on-"'t was but a babe."
A babe!-And poise ye in the rigid scales
Of calculation, the fond bosom's wealth?
Rating its priceless idols as ye weigh
Such merchandise as moth and rust corrupt,
Or the rude robber steals? Ye mete out grief,
Perchance, when youth, maturity, or age,
Sink in the thronging tomb, but when the breath
Grows icy on the lip of innocence,

Repress your measured sympathies, and say
"'Twas but a babe."

What know ye of her love Who patient watcheth till the stars grow dim Over her drooping infant, with an eye Bright as unchanging Hope if his repose? What know ye of her woe who sought no joy More exquisite, than on his placid brow To trace the glow of health, and drink at dawn

The thrilling lustre of his waking smile?
Go ask that musing father why yon grave
So narrow and so noteless, might not close
Without a tear?

And though his lip be mute, Feeling the poverty of speech, to give Fit answer to thee, still his pallid brow And the deep agonizing prayer that loads Midnight's dark wing to him the God of strength, May satisfy thy question.

Ye who mourn, Whene'er yon vacant cradle, or the robes That deck'd the lost one's form, call back a tide Of alienated joy, can ye not trust

Your treasure to His arms, whose changeless care Passeth a mother's love? Can ye not hope, When a few hasting years their course have run, To go to him, though he no more on earth Returns to you?

And when glad Faith doth catch Some echo of celestial harmonies, Archangels' praises, with the high response Of cherubim, and seraphim, oh thinkThink that your babe is there.



AH! look thy last, fond mother,
On the beauty of that brow,
For Death's cold hand is passing o'er
Its marble stillness now.

Those silken eyelids weighing down
Upon the glazed eye,

Are telling to thy aching heart,
The lovely one must die!

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