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ON THE DEATH OF HENRY KIRKE WHITE.
WHAT is this world at best,
Though deck'd in vernal bloom,
By Hope and youthful Fancy drest?
If flowrets strew
Though fair, alas! how fading and how few:
every hour comes arm'd
By care or keener woe:
Conceal'd beneath its little wings,
A scythe the soft-shod pilferer brings,
To lay some comfort low ;
Some tie to unbind,
By love entwined,—
Some silken bond that holds the captive mind.
And every month displays
The ravages of Time.
Faded the flowers, the summer past,
The scatter'd leaves, the chilling blast,
Thy lyre employ'd on nobler themes
Before the Eternal throne.
Yet, Spirit dear!
Forgive the tear
Which they must shed, who're doom'd to linger here.
Although a stranger, I
In Friendship's train would weep.
Lost to the world, alas! so young!
On the dark cypress sleep?
The poet, all
And Nature's self attends his funeral.
Although with feebler wing,
Thy flight would I pursue
With quicken'd zeal, with humbled pride,
Alike our object, hope, and guide,
One heaven alike in view.
True, it was thine,
To tower, to shine;
may make thy milder virtues mine.
If Jesus own my name,
Though Fame pronounce it never,
But all whose absence here I moan,
Circling with harps the golden throne,
I shall unite for ever.
At death then why
Tremble or sigh?
Oh, who would wish to live, but he who fears to die?
IN REPLY TO STANZAS
BY HENRY KIRKE WHITE.
"It is not that my lot is low,
That bids this silent tear to flow;
BUT art thou thus indeed alone,
Quite unbefriended, all unknown?
And hast thou then His name forgot,
Who form'd thy frame, and fix'd thy lot?
Is not His voice in evening's gale?
Beams not with Him the star so pale?
Is there a leaf can fade and die
Unnoticed by His watchful eye?
Each fluttering hope, each anxious fear,
To thine Almighty Friend are known:
TO THE MEMORY OF A YOUNG LADY.
[S. J. ob. Mar. 13, 1822.]
Go, said the Lord of Death,
The Sovereign of the Grave:
One of the nine must yield his breath,
For I must smite to save.
The monster at the bidding sped,
But angels waited on his tread.