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And there upon the ground I sit-
I sit and sing to them.
“And often after sunset, sir,
When it is light and fair,
I take my little porringer
And eat my supper there,
"The first that died was little Jane;
In bed she moaning lay,
Till God released her of her pain;
And then she went away.
"So in the churchyard she was laid;
And all the summer dry
Together round her grave we played,
My brother John and I.
"And when the ground was white with snow,
And I could run and slide,
My brother John was forced to go;
And he lies by her side."
How many are you then, said I,
If they two are in Heaven?
The little maiden did reply,
"O master! we are seven,"
But they are dead; those two are dead;
Their spirits are in Heaven!
'Twas throwing words away, for still
The little maid would have her will,
And said, "Nay, we are seven."
TO HIS SON, SIX YEARS OLD;
SLEEP breathes at last from out thee,
My little patient boy;
And balmy rest about thee
Smooths off the day's annoy.
I sit me down and think
Of all thy winning ways;
Yet almost wish, with sudden shrink,
That I had less to praise.
Thy sidelong pillowed meekness,
Thy thanks to all that aid,
Thy heart, in pain and weakness,
Of fancied faults afraid,
The little trembling hand
That wipes thy quiet tears,—
These, these are things that may
Dread memories for years.
Sorrows I've had, severe ones,
I will not think of now;
And calmly, midst my dear ones,
Have wasted with dry brow;
But when thy fingers press
And pat my stooping head,
I cannot bear the gentleness,-
The tears are in their bed.
Ah! still he's fixed and sleeping!
This silence too the while,—
Its very hush and creeping
Seem whispering as a smile:
Something divine and dim
Seems going by one's ear,
Like parting wings of Cherubim,
"We've finished here."
FARE thee well, our last and fairest !
Dear wee Willie, fare thee well!
He, who lent thee, hath recalled thee
Back with Him and his to dwell.
Fifteen moons their silver lustre
Only o'er thy brow had shed,
When thy spirit joined the seraphs,
And thy dust the dead.
Like a sunbeam, through our dwelling,
Shone thy presence bright and calm!
Thou didst add a zest to pleasure,
To our sorrows thou wert balm ; Brighter beamed thine eyes that summer; And thy first attempts at speech
Thrilled our heart-strings with a rapture Music ne'er could reach.
As we gazed upon thee sleeping,
With thy fine, fair locks outspread,
Thou didst seem a little angel,
Who from heaven to earth had strayed;
And, entranced, we watched the vision,
Half in hope and half affright,
Lest what we deemed ours, and earthly,
Should dissolve in light.
Snows o'ermantled hill and valley,
Sullen clouds begrimed the sky,
When the first drear doubt oppressed us,
That our child was doomed to die ;
Through each long night-watch, the taper
Showed the hectic of thy cheek;
And each anxious dawn beheld thee
More worn-out and weak.
Then our Father's last kind angel
Shook his pinions o'er our path,
Touched the rosiest of our household,
Closed his merry eyes in death;
Quickly was the call repeated,
Dearest blessings to resign,
For we turned from Charlie's death-bed,
Willie, round to thine.
As the beams of spring's first morning
Through the silent chamber played,
Lifeless, in mine arms I raised thee,
And in thy small coffin laid;
Ere the day-star with the darkness
Nine times had triumphant striven,
In one grave had met your ashes,
And your souls in Heaven!
Five were ye, the beauteous blossoms
Of our hopes and hearts and hearth;
Two asleep lie buried under
Three for us yet gladden earth;
Thee, our hyacinth, gay Charlie,
Willie, thee our snowdrop pure,
Back to us shall second spring-time
Never more allure !
Yet while thinking, O our lost ones!
Of how dear ye were to us,
Why should dreams of doubt and darkness
Haunt our troubled spirits thus ?
Why, across the cold dim churchyard,
Flit our visions of despair?
Seated on the tomb, Death's angel
Says, ye are not there.
Where then are ye? With the Savior
Blest, for ever blest, are ye,