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Three blessed beings! ye are now
Where pangs and partings are unknown, Where glory girds each sainted brow,
And golden harps surround the throne: Oh! to have hail'd that blissful sight, Unto the angels only given,
When thy two brothers, robed in light, Embraced thee at the gates of Heaven!
David, farewell! our mourning thus
We know 'tis vain; it may not be
That thou can'st come again to us,
But we, dear child, shall go to thee:"
Then let our thoughts ascend on high,
To Him whose arm is strong to save;
Hope gives to Faith the victory,
And glory dawns beyond the grave!
A SHEPHERD laid upon his bed,
With many a sigh, his aching head,
For him his favourite boy-to whom
Death had been dealt-a sudden doom.
"But yesterday," with sobs he cried,
"Thou wert, with sweet looks, at my side
Life's loveliest blossom; and to-day,
Woe's me! thou liest a thing of clay !
It cannot be that thou art gone;
It cannot be that now, alone,
A greyhair'd man on earth am I,
Whilst thou within its bosom lie?
Methinks I see thee smiling there,
With beaming eyes, and sunny hair,
As thou wert wont, when fondling me,
To clasp my neck from off my knee!
Was it thy voice? Again, oh speak,
My son, or else my heart will break!"
Each adding to that father's woes, A thousand bygone scenes arose ;
At home-a-field-each with its joy,
Each with its smile-and all his boy!
Now swelled his proud rebellious breast,
With darkness and with doubt opprest,
Now sank despondent, while amain
Unnerving tears fell down like rain:
Air-air-he breathed, yet wanted breath—
It was not life it was not death-
But the drear agony between,
Where all is heard, and felt, and seen-
The wheels of action set ajar ;
The body with the soul at war.
'Twas vain-'twas vain; he could not find A haven for his shipwreck'd mind;
Sleep shunn'd his pillow. Forth he went-
The moon from midnight's azure tent
Shone down, and, with serenest light,
Flooded the windless plains of night;
The lake in its clear mirror showed
Each little star that twinkling glowed;
Aspens, that quiver with a breath,
Were stirless in that hush of death;
The birds were nestled in their bowers ;
The dewdrops glittered on the flowers:
Almost it seemed as pitying Heaven
A while its sinless calm had given
To lower regions, lest despair
Should make abode for ever there;
So softly pure, so calmly bright,
Brooded o'er earth the wings of night.
O'ershadowed by its ancient yew,
His sheep-cote met the shepherd's view;
And, placid, in that calm profound,
His silent flocks lay slumbering round:
With flowing mantle by his side,
Sudden, a stranger he espied;
Bland was his visage, and his voice
Soften'd the heart, yet bade rejoice.-
"Why is thy mourning thus ?" he said,
"Why thus doth sorrow bow thy head?
Why faltereth thus thy faith, that so
Abroad despairing thou dost go?
As if the God, who gave thee breath,
Held not the keys of life and death !-
When from the flocks that feed about,
A single lamb thou choosest out,
Is it not that which seemeth best
That thou dost take, yet leave the rest?—
Yes! such thy wont; and, even so,
With his choice little ones below
Doth the Good Shepherd deal; he breaks
Their earthly bands, and homeward takes,
Early, ere sin hath render'd dim
The image of the seraphim!"
Heart-struck, the shepherd home return'd;
Again within his bosom burn'd
The light of faith; and, from that day,
He trod serene life's onward way."
THE BUST OF MY SON CHARLES.
When we two parted, ne'er to meet again!
FAIR image of our sainted boy,
Whose beauty calmly shows,
Blent with life's sunny smiles of joy,
Death's most serene repose—
I gaze upon thee, overcast
With sweet, sad memories of the past;
Visions which owed to thee their birth,
And, for a while, made Heaven of earth,
Return again in hues of light,
To melt my heart, yet mock my sight,
And sink amid the rayless gloom,
Which shadows thy untimely tomb.
Our fair, fond boy! and can it be,
That this pale mould of clay
Is all that now remains of thee,
So loving, loved, and gay?