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النشر الإلكتروني

32

Love's LAST BEQUEST.

The heart grows richer for life's stint,

Content from care upsprings, Even as the winter's snows disclose

Beauty in meanest things.

When Nature is all hopefulness,

And every thing is rife With the tear and smile of healthfulness,

The gushing pulse of life,

Then seemeth me these wildlings,

Young firstlings of the spring; Like that orphan babe, Love's last bequest,

Hope's dearest offering.

A frail thing that hath scarcely scaped

From death's keen frosty rime; Yet the more dear and beautiful

For coming at such timo.

A thing, though looking tearfully

Whene'er it glanceth back-
Through smiles that scatter sunlight o'er

The summer's coming track.

A glad one that shall yet awake

Within that father's heart
Joy, like the sunbursts, that in spring

Come when the rain-clouds part,

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Shall make the autumn of his days

Like a shock of ripened corn,
A trophy for heaven's harvest-home

When by its reaper shorn.

O gay young wildling of the spring,

So may thy ripening be; Through summer's flowers, and autumn's fruit,

To thy bright futurity!

EDITOR.

TO T. L. H.,

SIX YEARS OLD, DURING SICKNESS.

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 ;

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The little trembling hand That wipes thy quiet tears, These, these are things that may demand

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 thy gentleness,

The tears are in their bed.,

Ah, first-born of thy mother,

When life and hope were new,
Kind playmate of thy brother,
Thy sister, father too;

My light, whene'er I go,
My bird, when prison-bound,
My hand-in-hand companion,-no,

My prayers shall hold thee round.

To say

“ he has departed” “ His voice"_" his face"-is gone; To feel impatient-hearted,

Yet feel we must bear on;

THE LITTLE SHROUD.

35

Ah, I could not endure To whisper of such woe, Unless I felt this sleep ensure

That it will not be so.

Yes, still he's fixed, and sleeping !

This silence, too, the whileIts very hush and creeping Seem whispering us a smile:

Something divine and dim Seems going by one's ear, Like parting wings of cherubim,

" we've finished here."

Who say,

LEIGH HUNT.

THE LITTLE SHROUD.

She put him on a snow-white shroud,

A chaplet on his head; And gathered only primroses

To scatter o'er the dead.

She laid him in his little grave

'Twas hard to lay him there, When spring was putting forth its flowers,

And everything was fair.

36

THE LITTLE SHROUD.
She had lost many children-now

The last of them was gone;
And, day and night, she sat and wept

Beside the funeral stone.

One midnight, while her constant tears

Were falling with the dew,
She heard a voice, and, lo! her child

Stood by her, weeping too!

His shroud was damp, his face was white;

He said—“I cannot sleep,
Your tears have made my shroud so wet;

Oh, mother, do not weep!”

Oh, love is strong !—the mother's heart

Was filled with tender fears!
Oh, love is strong ;—and for her child

Her grief restrained its tears.

One eve a light shone round her bed,

And there she saw him stand-
Her infant in his little shroud,

A taper in his hand.

“ Lol mother, see my shroud is dry,

And I can sleep once more !”
And beautiful the parting smile

The little infant wore.

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