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ON THE DEATH OF HENRY KIRKE WHITE.
WHAT is this world at best,
Though deck'd in vernal bloom,
What but a ceaseless toil for rest,
passage to the tomb ?
If flowrets strew
Though fair, alas! how fading and how few :
hour comes arm'd
By care or keener woe:
Some tie to unbind,
By love entwined,
Some silken bond that holds the captive mind.
And every month displays
Faded the flowers, the summer past,
The scatter'd leaves, the chilling blast,
Warn to a milder clime.
The songsters flee
The leafless tree,
And bear to happier realms their melody.
Henry! the world no more
In purer skies thy radiance beams;
Before the Eternal throne.
Yet, Spirit dear!
Which they must shed, who're doom'd to linger here.
Although a stranger, I
Lost to the world, alas! so young!
The poet, all
And Nature's self attends his funeral.
Although with feebler wing,
Thy flight would I pursue
One heaven alike in view.
True, it was thine,
To tower, to shine;
If Jesus own my name,
Though Fame pronounce it never,
Sweet Spirit, not with Thee alone,
But all whose absence here I moan,
Circling with harps the golden throne,
I shall unite for ever.
At death then why
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?
Is there a leaf can fade and die
Unnoticed by His watchful eye?
Each fluttering hope, each anxious fear,
TO THE MEMORY OF A YOUNG LADY.
[S. J. ob. Mar. 13, 1822.]
Go, said the Lord of Death,
The Sovereign of the Grave:
For I must smite to save.
The monster at the bidding sped,