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There chance and change are not; the soul

Quaffs bliss as from a sea,

And years, through endless ages, roll,

From sin and sorrow free:

There gush for aye fresh founts of joy,

New raptures to impart ;

Oh! dare we call thee still our boy,
Who now a seraph art?


A little while-a little while-
Ah! long it cannot be !
And thou again on us wilt smile,
Where angels smile on thee.
How selfish is the worldly heart-

How sinful to deplore!

Oh! that we were where now thou art,
Not lost, but gone before.

April 1838.




BRIGHTLY the sun illumes the skies,
But Nature's charms no bliss impart ;
A cloud seems spread before the eyes,
Whose wintry shadow chills the heart :
Oh! eyes that, for my children's sake,

Have poured forth tears like summer rain!
Oh! breaking heart, that will not break,
Yet never can be whole again!


Two years agone, and where shone hearth
So fraught with buoyant mirth as ours!

Five fairies knit our thoughts to earth

With bands like steel, tho' wreath'd of flowers:

How wildly warm, how softly sweet,

The spells that bade our hearts rejoice ; While echo'd round us pattering feet,

And voices-that seem'd Joy's own voice!


Then light and life illumed each eye,
And rapture beam'd from each young brow,
And eager forms were flitting by,

That would not-could not rest; but now-
The light is quench'd, the life is fled;
Where are the feet that bounded free?
Thrice have we wept the early dead,
And one small grave-turf covers three !


The spell is broken! never more
Can mortal life again seem gay;
No future ever can restore

The perish'd and the past away!
Though many a blessing gilds our lot,
Though bright eyes still our hearth illume;

Yet, O dear lost ones! ye are not,

And half the heart is in your tomb!


Sudden it fell, the fatal shaft,

That struck blithe Charlie down in death; And, while Grief's bitterest cup we quaff'd, We turn'd to watch wee Willie's breath,

That faintly ebb'd, and ebb'd away,

Till all was still; and, ere the sun
A tenth time shed his parting ray,
Their bed of dreamless rest was one!


And next, dear David, thou art gone!

Beloved boy, and can it be,

That now to us remains alone

Our unavailing grief for thee?

Yet, when we trace thine upward track
To where immortal spirits reign,
We do not, dare not, wish thee back-
Back to this world of care again!


Summer was on the hills; the trees
Were bending down with golden fruit;
The bushes seem'd alive with bees,

And birds whose songs were never mute; But 'twas even then, dear boy, when flowers, O'ermantling earth, made all things gay,

That winter of the heart was ours,

And thine the hues of pale decay!


Yes! David, but two moons agone,
And who so full of life as thou?

An infant Samson, vigour shone

In thy knit frame and fearless brow. Oh! how our inmost souls it stirr'd,

To listen to thine alter'd tongue,

And see thee moping like a bird,

Whose strength was like the lion's young.


Yet so it was;-and, day by day,

Unquench'd thy thirst for sun and air,

Down the smooth walks, with blossoms gay,
We wheel'd thee in thy garden-chair;
And as we mark'd thy languid eye,

Wistful, the beds of bloom survey,
We dared not think thou wert to die,
Even in a briefer space than they.


Now gleams the west, a silver sea
Besprent with clouds of wavy gold;
Earth looks like Eden; can it be

That all thy days and nights are told?
Is there no voice, whose potent sway,

Can pierce through Death's Cimmerian gloom, Can bid the dead awake, and say

"Arise! 'tis morning in the tomb" ?


Yes! such there is; and thou that voice
Hast heard-hast heard it, and obey'd;
And we should mourn not, but rejoice

That Heaven is now thy dwelling made-
That thou hast joined thy brothers lost-
That thou hast reach'd a happy shore,
Where peace awaits the tempest-tost,
And stormy billows rage no more.

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