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The Early Dead
edited by William Chalmers Whitcomb (1857)

Like the later volume of consolation poetry collected by William Chalmers Whitcomb, The Early Dead was inspired by personal tragedy, in this case the deaths of his twin infant daughters. Maria Sarah and Mary Harriet Whitcomb were twins born on 22 August 1854 who died of typhoid a month apart in 1855, Mary dying on 28 September, and Maria dying on 27 October. (For births, see birth records for Stoneham, Massachusetts, for 1854; p. 159, line 1: in Massachusetts, Birth Records, 1840-1915; at ancestry.com. For deaths, see See Deaths Registered in the Town of Southbridge, Massachusetts, for the year 1855; lines 55 and 65: in Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-1915; at ancestry.com.) Mary and Maria are pictured in the frontispiece and are the subjects of several poems in the book.

The Early Dead brings together poems and stanzas by everyone from 19th-century “newspaper poets” to Shakespeare (here spelled “Shakspeare”) and Milton, including such popular 19th-century poets as Lydia Sigourney, Park Benjamin, and Felicia Hemans. While a number of the poems appear to be generic works on death and the innocence of children, several are memorials to children who died in infancy. Biographical information on these children is included here after the poem about them.

The distinctive spine of the copy transcribed here makes it easy to find on the shelf. This transcription includes the page numbers and no attempt to correct the sometime-eccentric spelling.


http://www.merrycoz.org/voices/EarlyDead/EarlyDead.xhtml
The Early Dead, edited by William Chalmers Whitcomb. (Worcester: Henry J. Howland, 1857)

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[frontispiece]

Mary and Maria Whitcomb as babies

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[title page]

THE EARLY DEAD,
OR
TRANSPLANTED FLOWERS:
A COLLECTION OF THOUGHTS,
POETICAL AND SCRIPTURAL,
ON THE
DEATH OF CHILDREN..

“There ’s many an empty cradle,

There ’s many a vacant bed,

There ’s many a lonely bosom

Whose joy and light have fled;

For thick in every graveyard

The little hillocks lie—

And every hillock represents

An angel in the sky.”

WORCESTER:
PRINTED BY HENRY J. HOWLAND,
245 Main Street.

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[copyright page]


Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1857, by
WM. C. WHITCOMB,
in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.

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[p. iii]

DEDICATION.

To bereaved parents in general, and a beloved companion in particular, this little book, prepared expressly for their instruction and consolation, is tearfully dedicated, by one who well knows, from heart-breaking yet most precious experiences, how to sympathize with them and all the afflicted.

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[p. iv]

INDEX.
~~~~

Autumnal Guest, … 37

Angels in the House, … 41

An Infant’s Death, … 52

Angel Band, … 60

A Thought, … 68

All’s Well, … 99

A Dirge, … 117

A Gem, … 123

Angel of Patience, … 148

Aspirations, … 159

Affliction’s Stroke, … 170

Blind Boy, … 31

Bereavement and Consolation, … 38

Birthdays of the Dead, … 39

Beautiful Belief, … 73

Babe who loved Music, … 76

Bury me in the Garden, … 80

Ballad, … 82

Be of Good Cheer, … 105

Brilliants, … 132

Blessed Little Children, … 167

Beautiful World, … 169

Best of All, … 170

Be Pitiful, O God, … 184

Bible Consolations, … 187

Children in Heaven, … 14

Cloud with Silver Lining, … 30

Cherub Band, … 34

Comfort, … 59

Consenting Mother, … 77

Child’s Wish, … 79

Curl of Golden Hair, … 108

Comforter, … 144

Consolations, … 146

Chamber of the Heart, … 174

Cheering Thought, … 179

Come ye Disconsolate, … 181

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p. v

Dedication, … 3

Death Bed, … 16

Death of an Infant, … 16

Death, … 26

Death of Francis, … 27

Death of Clara, … 56

Death of a little Boy, … 68

Dying Child, … 89

Double Bereavement, … 92

Death of Mother and Daughters, … 93

Dream Poetry, … 132

Death of a Friend’s Child, … 143

Dying Wish, … 146

Death Tones, … 165

Death of Infants, … 203

Edgar, … 27

Epitaph, … 52

Early Fled, … 77

Eldest Born, … 88

Early Lost, Early Saved, … 104

Extract, … 111

Early Called, … 149

Eva, … 155

Entering at the Celestial Gate, … 158

Endurance, … 175

Early Friends, … 182

Emigrant’s Child, … 183

Father’s Lament, … 29

From the German, … 32

First Martyrs, … 51

Furnace, … 132

Fable, … 152

Fading Flower, … 176

Friendship till Death, … 181

God’s way Best, … 49

Gone, … 79

Good from Evil, … 91

Gratitude, … 145

God’s will be Done, … 173

Glory to be Revealed, … 178

Grafted Bud, … 189

Good in Tears, … 197

Glimpses, … 199

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p. vi

Home-Gone, … 18

He doeth all things Well, … 35

Hymn, … 42

Heavenly Land, … 48

Heart-Deaths, … 57

Heart, Lie Still, … 67

Hope On, … 78

Happy Band, … 91

Hattie Elvira, … 157

Heaven, … 159

Hear! Father, … 178

Hallelujah, … 196

Holier Ties, … 197

Heaven’s Attractions, … 198

Heavenly Glories, … 199

Introductory Lines, … 13

In Ramah is a Voice Heard, … 51

If it be Possible, … 58

Ida May, … 94

Infant’s Home, … 95

In Heaven, … 105

Irish Mother’s Lament, … 109

I see Thee Still, … 112

I am thy Friend, … 116

Ida on Earth and in Heaven, … 130

I Long to be There, … 138

Infant’s Grave, … 151

I Weep Not, … 161

It is the Lord, … 182

In Memoriam, … 188

It is I, … 190

Inscription, … 200

Joy for Sorrow, … 17

Josie Sleeps, … 53

Kittie is Gone, … 19

Kind Words, … 169

Little Willie, … 20

Last Smile, … 23

Little Mary’s Grave, … 23

Lines written by my Child’s Grave, … 28

Little Graves, … 45

Lines, … 53

Lent, not Given, … 65

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p. vii

Little Jim, … 71

Low she Lies, … 73

Loved one Gone, … 86

Little Travelers, … 102

Loved and Lost, … 103

Last Good Night, … 113

Lament, … 115

Lead Thou Me On, … 120

Love, … 123

Love in Death, … 137

Loose the Cable, … 139

Little Coffin, … 140

Lines by Daniel Webster, … 141

Look Upward, … 163

Lonely Grave, … 164

Let the Bell Toll, … 181

Light from Darkness, … 185

Let us Aid One Another, … 185

Let me Die, … 195

My Angel Sister, … 21

Mary, … 62

Mother’s first Grief, … 69

My Angel Name, … 72

My Child, … 74

Mary’s Dream, … 84

Ministering Angels, … 85

Mission of the Death-Angel, … 90

Maternal Grief, … 92

Memory of the Dead, … 97

My little Angel Boys, … 129

Morn Advances, … 136

My Daughter, … 143

Memory of Helen, … 165

Mourner’s Address, … 171

My Children, … 201

Not in Vain, … 73

Not here, but Risen, … 99

Name not the Dead, … 150

Nest among Graves, … 151

Name better than Sons, … 176

No other Way, … 179

Nearer, … 179

Night Song, … 191

Not Dead, … 193

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p. viii

Our pleasant Hill of Graves, … 54

On a Child, … 59

our Darling, … 66

Only Daughter, … 101

Our Loss—her Gain, … 107

Over There, … 118

Our Sister, … 141

Our Abby’s Dead, … 144

Our Twins—Mary and Maria, … 153

Our Friends in Heaven, … 161

On the Death of a Child, … 163

Of such is the Kingdom of God, … 173

Our little Katie, … 177

Our Rest, … 191

Our Beloved, … 194

Preface, … 10

Passing Under the Rod, … 114

Prayer for Strength, … 128

Request, … 61

Room where Willie Died, … 63

Requiem, … 70

Remembrance of the Dead, … 117

Recognition in Heaven, … 121

Resignation, … 156

Reaper and the Flowers, … 201

Rabbi and his Sons, … 202

Singular Incidents, … 44

Sleeping Dead, … 47

Sudden Death, … 52

Sigh and a Smile, … 64

Shadow of the Valley, … 65

Safety of the Infant Dead, … 67

Spirit of the Departed, … 75

Spirit’s Song of Consolation, … 81

Submission in Trials, … 119

Sweet to Die, … 122

String of Pearls, … 125

She Passed Away, … 130

Sweet Relief, … 18

Sympathy, … 186

Scripture Selections, … 204

To a Child during Sickness, … 15

’T was but a Babe, … 17

To an Afflicted Friend, … 25

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p. ix

To the Bereaved, … 33

To Mr. and Mrs. Whitcomb, … 36

Two Little Graves, … 40

The Dead, … 43

The Trio, … 46

To the Tried Christian, … 50

Twin Babes, … 55

The Twins, … 69

Time to Die, … 78

Theodore, … 85

To William, … 106

To a Sister in Heaven, … 107

The Lily, … 111

To a Mother Bereaved, … 116

True Solace, … 120

The Blest Ones at Home, … 121

The Use, … 123

Trust, … 123

Thy Name be Praised, … 124

The Death of Children, … 124

The Grief I Feel, … 127

Twilight Meditations, … 128

The Death of a Child, … 136

The Departed, … 147

Tribulation, … 153

To my Little Son, … 154

The Little Boy that Died, … 154

The Tender Shepherd, … 155

To a Distant Friend, … 172

The Savior Lives, … 173

The Lord my Shepherd, … 180

Thy Will be Done, … 186

The Good Die Never, … 194

Tears, … 200

Two in Heaven, … 204

Victorious Faith, … 171

Who are They, … 47

Willie in Heaven, … 98

Willie E. Wheeler, … 100

Words that Lucy Sung, … 110

Way to Paradise, … 192

Yielding to Jesus, … 122

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[p. x]

PREFACE.

“Of making many books there is no end,” said the wise man, nearly three thousand years ago. And if there was truth in that statement, during Solomon’s reign, how much more of meaning contained therein, when made amid the printing presses and libraries of the Nineteenth Century. But although multitudes of volumes have been published, a large proportion having reference to life’s numerous trials, how seldom can bereaved parents obtain, in the hour of adversity, books especially adapted to their peculiar circumstances. And this too, notwithstanding the estimate, that half our race die in infancy; while scarce a family circle can be found where there is not at least one child missing. In almost every dwelling, coffins have taken the places of cradles. Yea, all along down the pathway of time, and everywhere throughout the globe, “Rachel has wept for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are not.”

To some, who know not the heart of a parent, and who belong to unbroken household bands, it may seem a very small thing when a child dies, when its silvery voice is hushed on earth forever, when its little body, seldom trusted out of its mother’s arms before, is hidden away in the cold ground; and such may feel no inclination to peruse a work like this. But to those who are bereaved, the death of children is among the strangest of God’s strange providences; and greatly do they need both human and divine sympathy. “The heart knoweth its own bitterness;” yet we are commanded to “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” How appropriate for mourners the precious consolations of the Gospel! and how cheering the thought, that the loved and the lost, by the sweet influences of their undying affection, can reach the sorrow-stricken hearts of parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, and near favorite friends, to draw them upward and heavenward in their aspirings. The early Church, in the freshest and holiest period of its history, devoted a special day, once a year, the third day after Christmas, styled “Innocent’s Day,” to the particular commemoration of the death of the “first martyrs,” those infants who were “slain in Bethlehem and the coasts thereof,” by the order of king Herod, and with the design of slaying among them the “blessed son of the Virgin Mary.”

This little book, which had its birth amid experiences of pa-

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p. xi

rental bereavement, and which has been in the process of preparation for the space of two years, from a mass of accumulating materials that would be sufficient to fill several volumes, is now tremblingly yet hopefully sent forth on its mission of “peace and good will,” in “the name of the holy child Jesus,” by one whose principal aim is to be a “son of consolation,” and a true ambassador of Him who was commissioned to “bind up the broken-hearted.” The gifted author of “Agnes, and the Key to her little Coffin,” and of “Bertha and her Baptism,” tells us that “the two books grew together in the writer’s mind from one and the same root—the death of a little child;” and so the editor of this work would refer to the death of twin children, a lithographic likeness of whom appears for the frontispiece, as the prime cause of the present collection. Fain would he educe good from evil, and “comfort others with the comforts wherewith he himself is comforted of God.” He might have committed to the press a series of labored sermons, or didactic essays, on the doctrine of Infant Salvation; but in administering healing balms to the afflicted, he had more faith in the “eclectic system” of moral practice, and has selected the choicest thoughts of ancient and modern poets bearing on the subject.

Sentiments which fail to impress deeply, or at least to touch the tenderest chords of the soul, when embodied in the ordinary words of prose, will often produce a powerful and enduring effect when expressed in the poet’s phraseology. For this reason, probably, some of the sweetest and richest biblical truths are couched in the poetic language of Inspiration, as, for instance, the lyrical Psalms of David, and the rapt strains of Isaiah. It is said of the best poets, that “they learn in suffering what they teach in song.” Coleridge once remarked, “Poetry has been to me its own ‘exceeding great reward:’ it has multiplied and refined my enjoyments; it has endeared solitude; and it has given me the habit of wishing to discover the Good and the Beautiful in all that meets and surrounds me.” The fable which the ancients record of Orpheus, the god of Poetry and Song, is quite significant. According to the story, his wife Eurydice died of the bite of a serpent. Her husband was so affected by the loss, that he hurried into the shades whither her spirit had gone. Music and poetry being natural to Orpheus, he employed their magic influence upon the gods in the infernal regions with such success as to induce them to restore his beloved companion to his arms. Although this is a mere fable, and although nothing can charm back the departed dead from that “mysterious bourne whence no traveler returns,” yet the soothing power of the productions of those who are inspired by the muses, is universally acknowledged.

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p. xii

A work like this is an experiment on the part of the compiler and the publisher. Should it prove a successful one, and the book meet with a cordial reception in bereaved families, it may be followed ere long by another, and somewhat similar volume. Some of the most touching and appropriate lines thus enshrined, and rendered permanent in their influences, originally appeared in some periodical of limited circulation, or magazine read in comparatively few families, and but for a timely seizure while floating neglectedly on the sea of literature, and noticed only by a small circle of observers, would have shared the fate of those “gems” in the “caves of ocean,” or the “flowers” which “blush unseen,” and “waste their sweetness.”

A few of the articles herein published, some with, and others without the authors’ names attached, were written expressly for this volume, and now make their first appearance before the eyes of the public. Several poets, including Prof. Longfellow and Mrs. Sigourney, have authorized the compiler to make free use of their writings. In the language of Trench, in the Preface to the “Study of Words,” he would say, that “if he has not owned, one by one, his obligations to each writer who has helped him,—this has arisen from no desire to escape the acknowledgement” of his indebtedness and his gratitude. And he would furthermore say, that if any bereaved fathers or mothers, any sorrowing brothers or sisters, shall derive as much pleasure and profit from the examination of this volume, as he has from its compilation, he will be abundantly recompensed for all the time and labor expended thereupon; and will thus find a fulfilment of the promise, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth, and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

Some discrepancies may be ascertained, by the critically disposed, between portions of the sentiments here introduced. But it is deemed advisable to let the poets speak freely for themselves, even if their views fail perfectly to harmonize, and allow the fullest latitude to the play of the imagination, when there is no inculcation of ideas that conflict with the fundamentals of Christianity. If any one thought is made more prominent than another, by the majority of those who speak to the reader through this volume, it is, that afflictions are God’s messengers for good to the soul; in other words, that they are “mercies in disguise,” or as a certain poet so truthfully expresses it,

’T is sorrow builds the shining ladder up,

Whose golden rounds are our calamities,

Whereon our firm feet planting, nearer God

The spirit climbs, and hath its eyes unsealed.

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p. xiii

And as another poet describes it, from personal experiences

Amid my list of blessings infinite,

Stand this the foremost,—

That my heart has bled.

To a weeping mother, at the grave of a darling child, it was said by the officiating clergyman, “There was once a shepherd whose tender pastoral care was over his flock night and day. One sheep would neither hear his voice nor follow him; he took up her little lamb in his arms—then the sheep came after him.” Of another bereaved mother, it has been beautifully said, that “sorrow was blessed to her; for through the graves of her little ones she got her first look into heaven; and while her eyes were filled with tears, she uplifted them to follow the flight of her cherubs, and straight the tears became prisms, glowing with the eternal dyes of immortality. The heart of the mother of redeemed ones, by trouble was brought to taste of the grace of God.”

The love that survives the tomb, says Irving, is one of the noblest attributes of the soul. If it has its woes, it has likewise its delights. When the overwhelming burst of grief is calmed into the gentle tear of recollection, then the sudden anguish and convulsed agony over the present ruins of what we most loved and prized, are wonderfully softened; and instead of crying out with the sorrowing patriarch, bereaved of his children, “All these things are against me,” or even with the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Garden of Gethsemane, “If it be possible, let this cup pass from me!” we are constrained to say, with the psalmist, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted,” and with the apostle, “I glory in tribulations.” Who would root sorrow from the heart, though it may sometimes throw a passing shadow over the hours of gaiety, or spread a deeper sadness over the hours of gloom? Who would even exchange it altogether for the more dangerous experience of uninterrupted prosperity?

The Lord informs us, that our trials are more precious than gold which is tried in the fire, that although for the present not joyous, but grievous, afterward they yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness, and work out for the believer a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Therefore will we listen for his voice amid the hoarse murmurs of fiercest storms. We will look for sunshine midst dripping clouds and adverse tempests. We will say, “God’s will be done,” and “All is well,” though obliged to give utterance thereto through a shower of tears, and choke down the lamentations of a bleeding heart.

Paul and Silas sang their loudest songs of praise at midnight in a Philippian dungeon, and in prospect of soon wearing

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p. xiv

the crown of martyrdom. John, “the beloved discipline,” received his brightest visions of the heavenly world when in lonely exile among the rocks of Patmos. John Bunyan, the immortal dreamer of Bedford jail, never would have produced the world-renowned Pilgrim’s Progress, but for the sore trials of his own pilgrimage through “dangers of every shape and name.” Martin Luther found the greatest comforts of hope, with the most of soul-enlargement and qualification for his arduous work, when passing through scenes of bitterest suffering. This apostle of the Reformation, who was remarkably empowered from above for the fulfilment of his sublime mission, used to declare, that whenever the Lord had fresh work for him to do, a new and strong trial was sure to be sent beforehand, to prepare him for its accomplishment; and when the trial came, whether in the form of persecution, or the loss of friends, he would gather his few faithful adherents around him, and say, “Come, let us sing the 46th Psalm: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble,’ ” &c.

“The good are better made by ill,

As odors crushed are sweeter still.”

There is an affecting illustration of this, as given by the authoress of the most popular book of our day, when setting forth, in answer to a friend’s inquiries, some of the circumstances in which that work had its origin. “It was the Cholera summer, when in a circle of five miles around me, nine thousand persons were buried. My husband was absent, was in feeble health, and if he returned, would return, the physician assured me, only to die. then it was my poor babe, the most beautiful and the most beloved, died, and died for want of medical aid. It was at his dying bed, and at his grave, I learned what a poor slave mother may feel when her child is torn from her. In the depths of my sorrow, which seemed to me immeasurable, it was my only prayer to God, that such anguish might not be suffered in vain. There were circumstances connected with this child’s death, of such peculiar bitterness, of what might seem almost cruel suffering, that I felt as if I could never be consoled for it, unless it should appear that the crushing of my own heart might enable me to work out some great good to others.” “Those bitter sorrows,” adds Mrs. Stowe at another time, “have left now little trace in my own mind, save a deep compassion for the sorrowful, and especially mothers who are separated from their children.”

How many have had feelings kindred to that of the learned divine, who exclaimed after the birth of a child, “Mine indeed she is; but in what a subordinate sense! That perfect frame, that wondrous mind, that immortal destiny, often made me shrink into nothingness at the contemplation—feeling that

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p. xv

God in making her had rolled a sphere into an orbit which is measureless, making it touch mine, but having a path of its own which cannot be comprehended in that of another, not even in that of the earthly parent. I am glad there is an infinite God to possess this infinite treasure, and control it; for it is too much for me.”

Children dying in infancy, reach heaven by a short and comparatively easy course. They find their way, as it were, through the Isthmus into the Pacific seas of Immortality, without doubling the stormy and dangerous Cape of Probation, without being necessitated to endure all the tedium, encounter all the difficulties, and brave all the perils of a more circuitous route. But some are ready to ask, “Why live at all on earth? and what is gained by so brief a life?” It is treading very near the borders of the unknown and unknowable to us, yet perhaps that little life, that simple crossing the corner of this world’s territory, was the needful pathway to the innermost circle, and the highest spheres of celestial delights.

“There are paleness, and weeping, and sighs below,

For our faith is weak, and our tears will flow,—

But the harps of heaven are ringing,

While hymns of joy are singing.”

Those families on earth are the happiest, other things being equal, where there are little children to sweeten domestic ties and cluster around the fireside; and the Family Circle of the ransomed above will not be without its younger members, its myriads of children saved, to intensity the everlasting bliss of all the glorified. Dr. Woods, of Andover, was so fond of the young, as to say, before he died, that the thought of being associated eternally with the pure spirits of children, was more delightful to him than to be connected with the mighty minds of Newton and Locke! And surely the presence and companionship of heaven’s immortal children must ever be among the crowning attractions of the Better Land.

Children are connecting links between mortal and angelic existence. Hence the Savior’s language, “He that humbleth himself as a little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Hence also the remark of an ancient philosopher, “Whenever I enter the presence of children, I remove my hat, and bow with reverence; for there I meet the future dignitaries of my country, and the heirs of immortality.” And well has it been said by a modern writer, that “God has many voices in this world, in his varied Providences; and though they speak in no dialect of man, they are clear and well understood. It is the anticipation of spirit communion hereafter. But among them all, whether loud or low, there is none which so move the heart to think of God, as the still lips of Infancy in Death.”

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p. xvi

A gentleman whose little son was ill, carried him from the country into the city, hoping thus to improve his health. One mild summer morning they took a sail together on the harbor; but the son, not wishing to sail so far as the father desired to go, was left with a servant upon an island which they passed. In the enjoyment of his pleasure-excursion the father was unconscious of the lapse of time, or the distance intervening between him and his child; and ere he had proceeded far in returning toward the spot, a dense fog arose, which shut out the isle from view, and the most careful searching was insufficient to find it. A vision of horror then came before the father’s mind, as he thought of that shelterless invalid, and the approaching chills of a gloomy night. At length he stood up in the boat, and called his son by name. He called again, and paused to listen. He called the third time, and lo! in response he heard the sweet voice of the lost boy, saying in accents of filial love, “Father, I’m here—come this way—steer straight for me—I am waiting for you.”

Guided by the tones of that winning voice, the rejoicing father speedily made his way to the island, clasped his son in his arms, took him once more on board, carried him to their transient city home, soon to his residence in the country, and in a few days to his last resting place in the village cemetery. Subsequently, in conversation with an intimate acquaintance, he remarked, that ever after, when thinking of that son, or bending over his grave, he seemed to hear the same sweet, ringing voice, form the other side of Jordan, saying, “Come this way, father—steer straight to me— I ’m waiting for you.” Thus, while gliding along upon the broad river of time, towards the vast and shoreless ocean of eternity, encompassed often with the thick mists and black clouds of bereavement, if we hearken attentively, we may catch the celestial echoings of familiar voices, from the “Islands of the Blest,” exclaiming, “Here are we; come hither, dear friends; O come, and be forever happy!”

“Hark! heard ye not a sound

Sweeter than wild bird’s note, or minstrel’s lay?

I know that music well, for night and day

I hear it echoing round.

It is the tuneful chime

Of spirit voices!—’tis my infant band,

Calling the mourner from this darkened land

To joy’s unbounded clime.

My beautiful, my blest!

I see them there, by the Great Spirit’s throne;

With winning words, and fond beseeching tone,

They woo me to my rest.”

The Compiler.

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[p. 13]

THE EARLY DEAD.

INTRODUCTORY LINES.

Go, thou book, upon thy mission

To the heart that’s sad and lone,

Where there is a missing cherub,

Or a “little Eva” gone;

Where there is an empty cradle,

And the toys are laid away,

And is hushed a voice that gladdened

All the household through the day;

Where there is a father mourning

O’er a little grave-marked spot,

And a mother’s heart is bleeding

For the child that now “is not;”

Yearning, oh! how fondly yearning,

In her anguish deep and wild;

She would barter all earth’s treasure

Could it bring her back her child.

Go to all such stricken parents,

Go into their homes so drear,

Carry to them consolation,

Speaking precious words of cheer,

Tell them that the Holy City

Would not seem so bright and fair,

That they ne’er might journey thither

If they’d no possessions there.

And the merciful All-Giver

Who hath taken home their child,

Knew its feet would make a golden

Pathway to the Eden isle,

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p. 14

Upon which, if they will journey,

And will learn to toil, and wait,

It will surely guide their footsteps

Safely to the heaven-gate.

There, amid a band of cherubs,

’Mid the pure and undefiled,

In a home where death ne’er enters,

They may clasp their angel child.

Ida.

CHILDREN IN HEAVEN.

In the broad fields of Heaven,

In the immortal bowers,

Dwelling by life’s clear river,

Amid undying flowers,

Myriads of beauteous spirits,

Fair children of the earth,

Linked in bright bonds celestial,

Sing of their human birth.

They sing of earth and Heaven,

Divinest voices raise,

In thoughts and praises unto Him

Who called them to the skies.

The golden-haired, the blue-eyed,

That lighted up our life,

And folded were within our hearts

From all the world’s rude strife;

The blessings of our bosoms,

The stars upon our sky,

The flowers up-springing in our path,

Too beautiful to die;

They are all there in Heaven,

Safe, safe, and sweetly blessed;

No cloud of sin can shadow

Their bright and holy rest.

Katharine P. Gordon.

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p. 15

TO A CHILD 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.

Sorrows I’ve had—severe ones—

I will not think of now;

And calmly ’mid 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.

To say—“he has departed”—

“His voice”—“his face”—“ ’tis gone”—

To feel impatient-hearted,

To feel we must bear on;

Ah! I would not endure

To whisper of such wo,

Unless I felt this sleep insure

That it will not be so.

Yes, still he’s fixed and sleeping,

This silence, too, the while!

Its very hush, and creeping,

Seems whispering as a smile;

Something divine and dim,

Seems going by one’s ear,

Like parting wings of cherubim,

Who say, “We’ve finished here!”

Leigh Hunt.

-----
p. 16

THE DEATH BED.

We watched her breathing thro’ the night,

Her breathing soft and low,

As in her heart the wave of life

Kept heaving to and fro.

So silently we seemed to speak,

So slowly moved about,

As we had lent her half our powers

To eke her being out.

Our very hopes belied our fears,

Our fears our hopes belied;

We thought her dying when she slept,

And sleeping when she died.

For when the morn came, dim and sad,

And chill with early showers,

Her quiet eyelids closed—she had

Another morn than ours.

Thomas Hood.

DEATH OF AN INFANT.

Death found strange beauty on that cherub brow,

And dashed it out. There was a tint of rose

On cheek and lip; he touched the veins with ice,

And the rose faded; forth from those blue eyes

There spoke a wishful tenderness—a doubt

Whether to grieve or sleep, which innocence

Alone can wear. With ruthless haste he bound

The silken fringes of their curtaining lids

Forever. There had been a murmuring sound

With which the babe would claim its mother’s ear,

Charming her even to tears. The spoiler set

His seal of silence—but there beamed a smile

So fixed and holy, from that marble brow,

Death gazed, and left it there; he dared not steal

The signet-ring of heaven.

Mrs. Hemans.

-----
p. 17

JOY FOR SORROW.

Oh, when a mother meets on high

The babe she lost in infancy,

Hath she not then, for pains and fears,

The day of woe, the watchful night,

For all her sorrow, all her tears,

An overpayment of delight?

’T WAS BUT A BABE.

I asked them why the verdant turf was riven

From its young rooting; and with silent lip

They pointed to a new-made chasm among

The marble-pillared mansions of the dead.

Who goeth to his rest in yon damp couch?

The tearless crowd pass on—“ ’t was but a babe.”

A babe! And poise ye in the rigid scales

Of calculation, the fond bosom’s wealth?

Rating its priceless idols as ye weigh

Such merchandise as moth and rust corrupt,

Or the rude robber steals? Ye mete out grief

Perchance when youth, maturity, or age

Sink in the thronging tomb; but when the breath

Grows icy on the lip of innocence,

Repress your measured sympaties, and say,

“ ’T was but a babe!”

What know ye of her love,

Who patient watcheth, till the stars grow dim,

Over her drooping infant, with an eye

Bright as unchanging hope, of his repose?

What know ye of her wo, who sought no joy

More exquisite than on his placid brow

To trace the glow of health, and drink at dawn

The thrilling lustre of his waking smile?

Go ask that musing father, why yon grave,

So narrow, and so noteless, might not close,

Without a tear.

-----
p. 18

And tho’ his lips be mute,

Feeling the poverty of speech, to give

Fit answer to thee, still his pallid brow,

And the deep agonizing prayer that loads

Midnight, darkening to him the God of strength,

May satisfy the question.

Ye who mourn

When’er yon vacant cradle, or the robes

That decked the lost one’s form, call back a tide

Of alienated joy, can ye not trust

Your treasure to His arms, whose changeless care

Passeth a mother’s love? Can ye not hope,

When a few wasting years their course have run,

To go to him, tho’ he no more on earth

Returns to you?

And when glad Faith doth catch

Some echo of celestial harmonies,

Archangel’s praises, with the high response

Of cherubim and seraphim, oh, think

Your babe is there!

L. H. Sigourney.

THE HOME-GONE.

When the sweet spring has come,

Bringing the fair green leaves and early blossoms,—

And we go forth to watch the unfolding

Of its beauties, how thrillingly will come

The fragrance of the dead. A shadowy child

Clasped her small hand in mine, to day, and passed

With me from the cold, busy world, to the

Fair field, to seek for violets.

Her sunny presence

Seemed so near to me, that with the low, glad

Words I uttered, as I found the buds of blue

Half-hidden in the yellow grass, came

Her own precious name; then, the sweet spell

Was broken, and the shadow-child was gone.

But there was left such pure and tender thoughts

Of her, that as I gazed up to the bright

Sky, the gate-way of her glorious home,

The wish crept to my soul, to join her there.

-----
p. 19

How well my heart remembers

When she passed from earth to Heaven, and made

Our hearthstone desolate. She died—

Not as a worn harp whose sweet strings break

Slowly one by one,—but as some strange hand

Had crushed it, when from its perfect strings

Came sweetest music.

Her little life

Fulfilled its mission. Her sweet death was the

Awakening of my inward life. And ever when

My steps were slow and lingering in the

Path of life, her little hand has urged me

Onward. ’T is ever thus. God takes our treasures

That the love, which clings in wild idolatry

Around them, be centered on Himself.

Zelia Gertrude Grey.

“KITTIE IS GONE.”

Sweet Kittie is gone to a heavenly home,

An angel conveyed her away;

Now in mansions of peace her bright spirit is blest,

No more from th’ enclosure to stray.

This dear little lamb, the youngest of all,

Was around our existence entwined;

The memory of her with us ever shall live,

Her love in our hearts be enshrined.

The loveliest flower, the rude hand of death

Lays oft in an early tomb;

But oh, what a joy round life’s journey it throws!

In glory it ever shall bloom.

Her voice of such sweetness and musical note,

Through heaven’s bright arches shall ring,

And with rapture will strike sweet strings of the lyre,

And notes of the seraph shall sing.

If my study door opened so gentle and sly,

None e’en the least footstep could hear;

Though I raised not my eyes, I always could tell

My dear little Kittie was near.

-----
p. 20

And then with sweet accents, so gentle and kind,

She would ask with her dear pa to stay;

In infinite goodness my loved one is gone,

Too good in this rude world to stay.

I miss her sweet voice, and those kisses of love

So oft on my forehead she pressed;

And that kind little hand caressing my brow,

When with sorrow or pain distressed.

We miss this dear flower from every place,

But we know that she is now with the blest;

Then we’ll patiently wait till summoned away

To join her in glorious rest.

The light of our dwelling in darkness has set,

Another gem shines in the sky;

The casket is sleeping, the spirit has fled,

To dwell with the happy on high.

LITTLE WILLIE.

Little Willie was the fairest

Of my sweet flowers;

Little Willie was the soonest

Called to Heaven’s bowers.

Sunny curls of gold were resting

On his fair brow,

And his merry, ringing laughter

Comes to me now!

When the light of love was beaming

From his blue eye,

My fond heart was never dreaming

That HE could die;

But a dark, sad cloud soon gathered

O’er our “sweet home;”

Then I heard the Savior’s whisper,

Bidding him “Come!”

-----
p. 21

Oh! that was an hour of anguish,

Deep, dark and wild!

Could I yield the precious treasure,

My own sweet child?

But my grief was unavailing,—

He could not stay,

And a band of white-winged angels

Bore him away!

“Like a rose crushed by the tempest,”

So pale and still!

The smile that on his pale lip lingered

Hushed my wild will!

Then, with his small, fair hands folded

Close on his breast,

With the sweet spring flowers we laid him

Calmly to rest!

Round his quiet grave in summer

Clings the wild rose;

But I love it when ’tis shrouded

With the pale snows!

Then to me it speaks of Heaven,—

Unsullied, pure,—

Where my flower in peerless beauty

Blooms evermore.

Zelia Gertrude Grey.

MY ANGEL SISTER.

When the busy day has ended, and the shadows of the west

Gathering o’er our peaceful dwelling, seem to soothe the soul to rest,

When earth’s soft and gentle beauty banishes all thoughts of gloom,

Then I love to seek the quiet of my own secluded room.

But one fair and glorious evening, when all nature ’d sunk to rest,

When this earth-home seemed all lovely, fit for spirits of the blest,

Seated by an open window, gazing on the scene so bright,

Sleep came brooding o’er my eyelids till it vanished from my sight.

-----
p. 22

As entranced I gazed around me, bursting on my dazzled sight

Came a vision fair and lovely, wand’ring through the shades of night.

’Twas a tiny white-robed cherub, one of the bright angel choir,

Playing softly as she glided, on her sweet-toned, golden lyre.

It was my loved angel sister, who, full many a year ago,

Went to dwell among the blessed, far from scenes of pain and woe.

Five glad years her prattling accents cheered our parents’ happy home,

Then our Father gently called her to his arms,—no more to roam.

Oft, in joyous days of childhood, seated on my mother’s knee,

Had I listened to her story, and that dear one longed to see.

Now as by my side she glided, peace and joy my bosom filled,

While these words of heavenly sweetness, every murmur quickly stilled:

“Sister, life to you is lovely; sunbeams dance around your way,—

Peace and joy beam on your pathway, brightly shines hope’s brilliant ray;

But all earthly bliss is transient, soon ’t will vanish from your sight,—

Many a fair and cloudless morning ends in dark, tempestuous night.

Cling not fondly to this earth-life, lovelier far the realms on high,

Where no sorrow ever enters, ne’er is heard the mourner’s sigh;

There the crystal waters ever sparkle mid the sun’beams’ rays,

While the joyous, heavenly minstrels warble sweet, seraphic lays.

There I wait for our loved parents; wait to waft them to that home,

From those bright and blessed portals they will never wish to roam.

Many a year I’ve hovered near them, been their little angel guide;

Soon I hope to bear them gently to our glorious Savior’s side.

-----
p. 23

Sister, love that blessed Jesus, place your hopes on Him alone,

He has suffered to redeem you, He can for your sins atone.

O may all our little circle, in yon glorious happy land,

When the scenes of earth are over, meet—a re-united band.”

Then methought that little cherub, as these accents died away,

Touched once more her golden lyre in a sweet, celestial lay,

Then, her radiant plumes outspreading, swift she bounded from my sight,

Upward, upward still ascending, through the curtains of the night.

Iola.

THE LAST SMILE.

O, why smiled the babe in its dying hour,

When its earth-weary days were done?

It had faded away like a blighted flower,

In the rays of the summer’s sun;

Love-full was the look of the innocent child,

So peaceful, so trusting, so sweetly it smiled.

O, why did it smile? had angels down-come

From the far-off sunny-hued land,

To bear its pure spirit away to its home,

To join a bright seraphim band?

Ah, yes, and they whispered of love and of peace,

Of joys and of pleasures that never will cease.

D. Hardy, Jr.

LITTLE MARY’S GRAVE.

“She fell in her saint-like beauty asleep by the gates of light.”

Come with me when the pale moonlight falls where summer roses wave,

Come, but tread with slow, soft footsteps, this is little Mary’s grave!

Little sunny-hearted Mary, youngest of our happy band,

Lightly was her sweet name’s tracing in Life’s ever changing sand.

-----
p. 24

Beauty dwelt in every feature, and her wild dark eye was bright,—

How we miss her red lip lisping, how we miss her sweet “Good night.”

Where the blue bright river glideth, with pale lilies on his breast,

’Neath the green leaves of the willow, where the wild bird built its nest;

Where the earliest spring-flowers blossomed, and the crimsoned star flower grew,—

Where the timid violet nestled its fair, fragrant leaves of blue,

There, with her small hand clasped tightly, with light hearts we often strayed,

Ah, my heart was little dreaming, she would with their bright leaves fade!

But when Autumn winds were sighing the sad Requiem of the flowers,

Then the death-blight slow was stealing softly to this bud of ours;

With her white arms twined around me, and her brown, soft silken hair

Falling where the death damp gathered, like a cloud of sunset there,

Harps and voices of the angels broke the stillness wild and deep—

With their white wings folded round her, little Mary fell asleep!

Oh that hour of bitter anguish, who may e’er its sorrow tell?

Could we say “God dealeth kindly,” when our dearest idol fell?

Yes! we know that He in mercy called our little flower away,

Where no blight could mar its beauty, where it evermore might stay;

In her tiny hands close folded on the little snowy breast,

Slept sweet buds, fair ones I gathered from the flowers she loved the best;

In this gentle sleep we laid her softly in the silent grave,.

Where the moonlight now is falling on the flowers that o’er it wave!

Zelia Gertrude Grey.

-----
p. 25

TO AN AFFLICTED FRIEND.

And thou art stricken, then, my friend!

That bitter shaft has found at length

The doorway of thy tenement,

And robbed thy spirit of its strength:

Great woe, indeed! If tears of mine

Could heal the grief, or ease the pain,

Thou should’st have her thou mourn’st as dead,

Ruddy and fresh with life again.

’T is strange! I always thought ’t was strange

That Death, like an unkennel’d hound,

Should through our fields and pastures range,

And gird our hearts and altars round—

For most he seems delight to have

Where fairest fruits and flowers abound,

Trampling the tender buds and vines

Into the chillness of the ground.

My heart did beat within me loud,

And murmurs ran along my tongue,

And even curses seemed to crowd

’Gainst one who spared nor old nor young:

And oft-times I had murmured more,

Had I not thought some wiser end

Than human eyes are given to see,

Hovered, thus grimly, to befriend.

And when my little faith looked up,

Bravely, through all the mighty harm,

I said, perchance this bitter cup

May be the working of a charm;

For thou ’twas dark around, above,

And darkest while the woe was keen,

Glimpses of heaven and perfect love,

Like sun-smiles, shut the clouds atween.

And whispering angels softly said,

In tones most musical and mild,

The only living are the dead,”

As drooped the eyelids of the child—

And when the mother’s brow grew pale,

And lip and cheek of blush were shorn,

Louder the minstrels pealed their strain,

Now surely is another born.”

-----
p. 26

These buds ye weep have ’scaped the frost;

These flowers ye mourn—obscured in gloom—

Are only to the tempest lost,

Which cannot reach their brighter bloom;

They bloom in climes that know no night,

Where fields and streams and skies are fair,

And time is but the flow of light,

Golden and glowing through the air.

No lingering ill nor sudden pang,

Within that beauteous land are known,

Where all have sandals made of flowers,

And gold harps of the tenderest tone—

With teachers from that starry band,

Who wrote and sung their morning hymn

When the young earth, awaking, saw

Heaven, and felt its eyes grow dim.

C. D. Stewart.

DEATH.

Only an angel,

Whose strains, low and deep,

Gently, peacefully

Waft me to sleep.

Only a floweret,

With thorns, it is true;

Grasp it—’tis stingless,

And beautiful, too.

Only a messenger

Sent from His throne,

Calling his children,

Like prodigals, home.

Only a slumber,

Dreamless and sweet,

Ere the awaking

To bliss most complete.

Only the portal

That leadeth to life:

Only cessation

Of earth’s angry strife.

-----
p. 27

DEATH OF FRANCIS.

I saw the fond mother in tenderness bend

O’er the couch of her slumbering boy,

And she kissed the soft lips as he murmured her name,

Wile the dreamer lay smiling in joy.

O sweet as the rose-bud encircled with dew,

When its fragrance is flung on the air,

So fresh and so bright to the mother he seemed,

As he lay in his innocence there.

But I saw when she gazed on the same lovely form,

Pale as marble, and silent, and cold,

But paler and colder her beautiful boy,

And the tale of her sorrow was told.

Yet the healer was there who had smitten her heart,

And taken her treasure away;

To allure her to heaven He has placed it on high,

And the mourner will sweetly obey!

There had whispered a voice ’t was the voice of her God,

I love thee, I love thee! pass under the rod.

EDGAR.

Little one! precious one!

Summoned away,

Ere life’s uprising sun

Dawned into day;

Gone from thy mother’s arms

Up to the Savior’s breast,

Safe from life’s rude alarms,

Blissful thy rest!

Softly the angel came

Night’s veil hung low,

Softly he breathed thy name,

Called thee to go;

Gently he closed thine eyes,

Gently withdrew thy breath,

Loving ones anxiously

Doubted thy death.

-----
p. 28

Swiftly on shining wings

Upward he soared,

Bearing thee tenderly

Home to his Lord;

Up through the golden gates,

Up to the throne,

Where bliss eternal waits,

Pain is unknown.

Little one! precious one!

Love could not save,

Early the cross was thine,

Early the grave.

Now, all the anguish past

Unto thee given,

Early the crown is thine,

Early the Heaven.

Fonder than friendship’s arms

Round thee shall twine,

Greater than mother’s love

Henceforth be thine.

Voices celestial

Have soothed thee to rest,

Jesus has folded thee

Close to his breast.

Rest thee in Paradise,

Lovely and pure,

All thy eternity

Blissful and sure.

Waiting, we long for thee,

Through faith we come,

Little one! precious one!

Up to thy home!

A. M. E.

LINES WRITTEN BY MY CHILD’S GRAVE IN EARLY SPRING.

I hear the music of the coming spring!

A witching melody upon my raptured ear

Bids my spirit spread its folded wing,

And fly from toil and care.

-----
p. 29

Surpassing sweet thy song!

Yet, as through the flowering fields I pass,

Sighs are borne mournfully along

Upon the springing grass!

Sighs for the loved and young,

And early dead, whose gushing voice

In silvery cadence on an infant tongue,

Would make my heart rejoice.

O! troubled heart, be still!

And tearful eye, look up and know

That heavenly music now the pulses thrill,

Of one so loved below.

The Lord has taken what he gave

To dwell in Paradise!

The simple flower I’ve planted on his grave

Teaches my child shall rise.

T. N. Jones.

A FATHER’S LAMENT FOR HIS YOUNG DAUGHTER.

Thou art torn from me, my blossom, thy fragrance is no more,

And I thy early blighting with bitter tears deplore;

In vain I look on other flowers—no rose so fair I see—

For Ada was the sweetest bud in all the world to me!

Oh, thou wast nurtured tenderly and watered with the dew

Of all Life’s best affections, unchangeable and true,

But Summer breezes wafted thee where Summer daisies lie—

Alas, my beautiful! that thou should’st fade away and die.

My child! my child! my darling child! I sit and weep alone,

To think that thou, my gentle dove, so far away hast flown—

So far away; for that bright Heaven, to which thy soul was borne,

Is very far from this dim earth, where I am left to mourn.

Oh, when the music of thy voice fell on my listening ear,

Unconscious as a robin’s chirp, and ah! more soft and clear—

I dreamed when years had passed away I still should hear thy words,

More welcome than the harmonies of all the singing birds.

-----
p. 30

But thou art gone, and those bright eyes are darkened from the sun,

There is no freshness in the cheeks I loved to look upon,

The red has vanished from the lips so often pressed to mine,

And nothing but the clay-cold form remains of what was thine.

Pure innocent! thy home is with the holy and the blest,

Thy Savior’s bosom now, my dove, thy happy ark of rest—

And though with Summer birds and flowers my little Ada fled,

The glory of the Cherubim is shining round her head!

Park Benjamin.

“THE CLOUD HATH A SILVER LINING.”

Though the dark waves of sadness may suddenly roll

Around thee, yet cease thy repining;

let hope sweetly whisper these words to thy soul,

That “the cloud hath a silver lining.”

Tho’ friends may forsake thee, that once thou thought true,

Their motive, to thee undefining,

Weep not, ’t is no loss, they are false, let them go,

For “the cloud hath a silver lining.”

Should trials and troubles together unite,

And round thee their coil seem entwining,

Remember, though now it seems darker than night,

That “the cloud hath a silver lining.”

Though death’s icy hand from love’s casket may take

Thy treasures, still cease thy repining,

But hope, when life’s ended, with them to awake,

For “the cloud hath a silver lining.”

No matter what trials attend us through life;

Though no light o’er our pathway seem shining,

We ’ll hope for the best, and these words bear in mind,

That “the cloud hath a silver lining.”

-----
p. 31

THE BLIND BOY.

An editor, from whose selection we take the following lines, has beautifully said that, for himself, he could not see to read them through.

It was a blessed summer’s day;

The flowers bloomed, the air was mild,

The little birds poured forth their lay,

And every thing in nature smiled.

In pleasant thought I wondered on

Beneath the deep wood’s simple shade,

Till, suddenly, I came upon

Two children who had hither strayed.

Just at an aged beach tree’s foot

A little boy and girl reclined;

His hand in her’s [sic] she gently put—

And then I saw the boy was blind.

The children knew not I was near—

A tree concealed me from their view—

But all they said I well could hear;

And I could see all they might do.

‘Dear Mary,’ said the poor blind boy,

‘That little bird sings very long;

So do you see him in his joy,

And is he pretty as his song?’

‘Yes, Edward, yes,’ replied the maid,

‘I see the bird on yonder tree.’

The poor boy sighed and gently said:

‘Sister, I wish that I could see!

‘The flowers, you say, are very fair,

And bright green leaves are on the trees,

And pretty birds are singing there;

How beautiful for one who sees!

‘Yet I the fragrant flower can smell,

And I can feel the green tree’s shade,

And I can hear the notes that swell

From those dear birds that God has made.

-----
p. 32

‘So sister, God to me is kind,

Though sight, alas! he has not given;

But tell me, are there any blind

Among the children up in Heaven!’

‘No, dearest Edward, there all see;

But why ask me a thing so odd?’

‘O Mary, he’s so good to me,

I thought I’d like to look at God.’

Ere long, disease its hand had laid

On that dear boy, so meek and mild;

His widowed mother wept and prayed

That God would spare her slightless child.

He felt her warm tears on his face,

And said, ‘O, never weep for me;

I’m going to a bright, bright place,

Where, Mary says, I God shall see.

And you ’ll come there, dear Mary, too;

And, mother dear, when you come there,

Tell Edward, mother, that ’tis you—

You know I never saw you here.’

He spoke no more; but sweetly smiled,

Until the final blow was given;

When God took up that poor blind child,

And opened first his eyes—in heaven!

FROM THE GERMAN.

O write this promise in your heart

Ye tearful ones, with whom

Sorrows fall thick, and joys depart,

And darker grows your gloom.

Despair not, for your help is near,

He standeth at the door

Who best can comfort you and cheer,

He comes, nor stayeth more.

-----
p. 33

Vex not your souls with care, nor grieve

And labor longer thus,

As though your arm could aught achieve,

And bring him down to us!

He comes, he comes with ready will,

By pity moved alone,

All pain to soothe, all tears to still,

To him they all are known.

TO THE BEREAVED.

The following original hymns were sent to my family after the death of a child, the first from Mrs. Sigourney, of Hartford, Conn., the second from Mrs. E. A. W. Vinton of Southbridge, Mass.

W. C. W.

She was not ours! Awhile she dwelt

With us in tents of clay,

Like guest that tarrieth but a night,

Then hastening speeds away.

She was not ours! We praise the Hand

That sent such creature fair,

A sunbeam ’mid our daily toil,

To brighten all our care.

She was not ours! From God she came,

A treasure and a loan,

How arrogant, when he resumes,

To call his loan our own.

She was not ours! ’Tis better far,

That in his arms she rest,

Who loved on earth the little ones,

And drew them to his breast.

Dark clouds o’er a sweet home have hid the bright sun’s shining,

Shadows are creeping on the sunny hearth;

Can such dark, folded clouds have bright and silver linings?

And are they dark only when seen from earth?

-----
p. 34

It must be so; these hours of wild, deep grief are given

To teach our hearts to cling but lightly here,

These clouds are but the passing of a Hand from Heaven,

To take the idols that we hold too dear.

In that sweet home two buds in loveliness were clinging

Upon one stem, in quiet beauty there;

There sunny smiles the love-light to each heart was bringing,

Growing each day more beautiful and fair.

Like a sweet rose that the wild passing tempest crusheth,

From off its stem, one bud is broken now,

Just when the summer flower its smile of beauty husheth,

Passed the death-shadows o’er that fair young brow.

’T is passing sweet to think no human voice is calling

These lovely flowers from the earth away,

E’en while the dew of morning on their leaves is falling

In the blest hours of life’s bright sunny May.

Young mother, weep, but mourn not that one bud is taken

By the great Giver in its earliest bloom,

How peaceful is her sleep; let not thy trust be shaken;

Think of the glorious morning that will come.

go to her low grave hopefully; teach the wild flowers

To love the place, and when their bright leaves fade,

Think of the fairer land where all are sunny hours,

Where bloom the buds that wither in the green earth’s shade.

THE CHERUB BAND.

God looked among his cherub band,

And one was wanting there,

To swell along the holy land

The hymns of praise and prayer.

One little soul which long had been

Half way ’tween earth and sky,

Untempted in a world of sin,

He watched with loving eye.

It was too promising a flower

To bloom upon this earth,

And God did give it angel power,

And bright celestial birth.

-----
p. 35

The world was all too bleak and cold

To yield it quiet rest,

God brought it to his shepherd-fold,

And laid it on his breast.

There, mother, in thy Savior’s arms,

Forever undefiled,

Amid the little cherub band,

Is thy beloved child.

“HE DOETH ALL THINGS WELL.”

I remember how I loved her, when, a little guileless child,

I saw her in the cradle, as she looked on me and smiled:

My cup of happiness was full, my joy words cannot tell;

And I blessed the glorious Giver, “who doeth all things well.”

Months passed, that bud of promise was unfolding every hour,

I thought that earth had never smiled upon a fairer flower;

So beautiful, it well might grace the bowers where angels dwell,

And waft its fragrance to His throne, “who doeth all things well.”

Years fled—that little sister then was dear as life to me,

And woke in my unconscious heart a wild idolatry;

I worshipped at an earthly shrine, lured by some magic spell,

Forgetful of the praise of Him “who doeth all things well.”

She was the lovely star whose light around my pathway shone,

Amid this darksome vale of tears through which I journey on;

Its radiance had obscured the light which round His throne doth dwell,

And I wandered far away from Him “who doeth all things well.”

That star went down in beauty, yet it shineth sweetly now,

In the bright and dazzling coronet that decks the Savior’s brow:

She bowed to the Destroyer, whose shafts none may repel,

But we know, for God hath told us “He doeth all things well.”

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p. 36

I remember well my sorrow as I stood beside her bed,

And my deep and heartfelt anguish when they told me she was dead,

And oh that cup of bitterness—let not my heart rebel:

God gave—he took—he will restore,—“He doeth all things well.”

TO REV. MR. AND MRS. WHITCOMB,
ON THE DEATH OF THEIR TWIN CHILDREN*.

“They were not ours! awhile they dwelt

With us in tents of clay,

Like guests that tarry but a night,

They hasting speed away.”

Though brief, their stay, yet love’s strong cord,

With all its magic powers,

They twined around our yearning hearts,

Although “they were not ours.”

We did not think these little birds

So soon would try their wing;

And that they’d chant their first sweet song,

Up where the angels sing.

Yet, scarcely had one loved one flown,

From out the parent nest,

And just begun to tune her harp,

In mansions of the blest;

Her little mateling caught the strains,

From that sweet seraph lyre;

And quick obeyed the music call,

“Sweet sister, come up higher!”

And now these little birds have gone,

Where nothing can molest,

Our savior holds them in his arms,

In angels’ plumage drest!

*See Frontispiece.

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p. 37

And though the home is lonely now,

From whence these birds have flown,—

We meekly bow to God’s decree,

And give Him back his own.

Rebecca Brackett.

THE AUTUMNAL GUEST.

The crown from the forehead of summer

Had dropt, the dim woodlands were sere,

When there entered our home a strange comer,

Afar from the kingdom of fear,

In the mystical fall of the year.

He darkened our doors, and the hours,

Once opening like myrtles in bloom,

Were blighted, as if they were flowers

That droop in the shade of the tomb,

That wither and die in its gloom.

There came to our cheeks a strange pallor,

Our words grew unfrequent and low,

But two of our number with valor,

Smiled sweet on that terrible foe,

As the rose on the cold falling snow.

There came to my heart a forewarning—

A blast from the winter to be,

The winter that waileth in me.

And I knew my kingdom of summer,

Must fade, and its crown disappear,

O! pitiless grew that dread comer,

Far from the kingdom of fear,

In the desolate fall of the year.

Strange that hearts can live on after breaking!—

At midnight my darlings were dead.

Two graves ’neath the pines for my keeping,

He left me, that terrible guest,

A soul that is weary with weeping,

A world that in shadow is drest,

A life that is wild with unrest.

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p. 38

No more, nevermore to behold them!

I wake, by degrees, to my loss,

I feel a cold world growing colder,

On sorrow’s drear ocean I toss,

I faint neath the load of my cross.

Yet high in the infinite summer,

Beyond the pale kingdom of fear,

God’s angels have crowned some new comers,

They smile from their beautiful sphere,

They call me, the morning is near!

BEREAVEMENT AND CONSOLATION.

It is not in the parting hour, when those we fondly love

Have breathed to us their last farewell, and winged their way above;

Nor yet, when in the darksome grave we lay them to their rest,

The sharpest pang of sorrow rends the stricken mourner’s breast.

’T is when we seek our lonely home, and meet no more the smile

Which could the darkest cloud dispel, and every care beguile;

And when we meet around the board, or at the hour of prayer,

’T is then the heart most feels its loss—the loved ones are not there.

And thus while days and months steal on, as memory brings to view

The vision of departed joys, our grief is stirred anew;

Though faith may own a father’s hand, yet nature will rebel,

And feel how hard it is to say, “He hath done all things well.”

O mournful memories of the past, ye wear our lives away,

Ye haunt us in our dreams by night, and through each weary day;

The home which late, like Eden’s bower, in blooming beauty smiled,

Ye make a barren wilderness, a desert waste and wild.

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p. 39

But why thus yield to fruitless grief? Are they not happier far,

The sainted ones for whom we mourn, than we who linger here?

Our hearts should glow with grateful love to Him, whose watchful eye

Saw dangers gathering round their path, and called them to the sky.

Not long shall we their loss deplore, for soon the hour will come

When we, with those so fondly loved, shall slumber in the tomb;

Then let the remnant of our days be to His service given,

Who hid our idols in the grave, lest we should fail of heaven.

Not willingly the Lord afflicts, nor grieves the sons of men;

’T is but to wean our souls from earth, and break the power of sin:

He saw us wandering from his paths, and sent the chastening rod

To turn our feet from error’s way, and bring us home to God.

Shall we defeat his wise design, and waste our days in tears,

Ungrateful for the numerous gifts that heaven in mercy spares?

Let faith and hope be cherished still, and brighter days shall dawn,

And plants of peace shall spring anew from seed in sorrow sown.

A. P. C.

THE BIRTHDAYS OF THE DEAD.

Are all the memories of life

Buried when life has fled?

Are we forbid to keep again

The birthdays of the dead?

Time was when each successive year

Brought one bright day of mirth,

The looked-for anniversary

Of some beloved one’s birth.

The birthday feasts of childhood’s age,—

The feasts of riper years,—

Remind us of like youthful joys

Remembered now with tears.

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p. 40

For they with whom those days were spent,

Have done with all on earth,

The fond home circle is broken up

That hailed each day of birth.

Yet, as the days come round again,

Marked with affection’s seal,

Once more we think of those we ’ve lost,

Once more their presence feel.

The blessed spirits now in heaven,

May not such cycles keep,

Time metes not out their happiness,

They know not night nor sleep.

Yet may they still retain the thoughts

Commemorating birth,

And, haply, still they keep in heaven

The calendar of earth.

Far off are they, but still towards them

Our loving arms we spread,

And ever in our hearts we ’ll keep

The birthdays of the dead.

TWO LITTLE GRAVES.

Side by side they ’re sweetly sleeping,

Little loved ones, early blest;

Free from care and pain and sorrow,

Oh, rejoice! They are at rest.

One whose timid little footfall

Now we listen for in vain,

And whose voice like bird-notes ringing,

Never will be heard again!

Her blue eyes like angels’ beaming,

Never more will meet our own;

Oh, her absence makes most dreary

Our once cheerful, happy home!

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p. 41

And the other precious sleeper,

For a little season given,

Like a sunbeam sweet to cheer us,

Quickly taken back to heaven;

Vainly will the mother seek her,

Vacant is the cradle bed—

Lovely infant! in the graveyard

Low, is laid thy little head.

But the graveyard! oh, the graveyard!

Let us turn our thoughts away;

Looking upward, looking upward

Into realms of cloudless day.

Side by side, in heaven’s bright regions

Two sweet angels sing and soar,

Welcomed by the host of heaven,

There to dwell forevermore.

“Side by side these little loved ones

Hover round you night and day;

List your weeping and your sighing,

And methinks these words they say:

“Did you know how blest and happy

Angels were, ye would not mourn

That to join the band in heaven

Your beloved ones had gone.

Side by side, in garments spotless,

Angels twain—how blest are we;

Kindly Jesus Christ did call us,

‘Little children, come to me!’

Soon the Lord will call you heavenward,

Side by side we than will come—

Stand to greet you at the portals

Of our everlasting home!”

Caroline E. Roberts.

THE ANGELS IN THE HOUSE.

Three pairs of dimpled arms, as white as snow,

Held me in soft embrace;

Three little cheeks, like velvet peaches soft,

Were placed against my cheek.

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p. 42

Three pairs of tiny eyes, so clear, so deep,

Looked up in mine this even,

Three pairs of lips kissed me a sweet “good night,”

Three little forms from heaven.

Ah, it is will that “little ones” should love us;

It lights our faith when dim

To know that once our blessed Savior bade them

Bring “little ones” to him.

And said He not, “of such is Heaven,” and blessed them,

And held them to his breast!

Is it not sweet to know that when they leave us,

’T is there they go to rest?

And yet, ye tiny angels of my house,

Three hearts cased in mine!

How ’twould be shattered, if the Lord should say,

“Those angels are not thine!”

HYMN.

Hark! to the solemn bell,

Mournfully pealing!

What does its pealing tell,

On the ear stealing?

Seem they not thus to say,

Loved ones have passed away?

Ashes with ashes lay?

List to its pealing.

Earth is all vanity,

False as ’t is fleeting;

Grief is in all its joy,

Smiles with tears meeting;

Youth’s brightest hopes decay,

Pass like mourn’s gems away,

Too fair on earth to stay,

Where all is fleeting.

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p. 43

When in their lonely bed,

Loved ones are lying;

When joyful wings are spread,

To heaven flying;

Would we to sin and pain,

Call back their souls again,

Weave round their hearts the chain

Severed in dying?

No, dearest Jesus, no;

To thee, their Savior,

Let their free spirits go,

Ransomed forever;

Heirs of unending joy,

Theirs is the victory;

Thine let the glory be,

Now and forever.

THE DEAD.

I think about the dead by day;

I dream of them at night.

They seem to stand beside my chair,

Clad in the clothes they used to wear,

And by my bed in white.

The common places of their lives,

The lighted words they said,

Revive in me and give me pain,

And make me wish them back again,

Or wish that I were dead.

I would be kinder to them now,

Were they alive once more;

Would kiss their cheeks, and kiss their hair,

And love them like the angels there

Upon the silent shore.

R. H. Stoddard.

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p. 44

SINGULAR AND TOUCHING INCIDENTS.

A little girl in West Newton predicted her own death when apparently in her usual health, and was suddenly taken with croup and died the same night, exclaiming just before her death: “Do you see the angels over there? They have come for me.” The following communication narrates an incident of a similar touching and remarkable character, and equally well authenticated:

“Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength.”—Psalm viii: 2.

Lines on the Death of Jennie Sharp,

Only daughter of Elisha B. Pratt, Esq., of this city, who died Feb. 3, 1857, at the age of three and a half years, after a short illness. A few weeks since she arose early in the morning and got into her mother’s bed, saying: “Mother, I dreamed that I saw God, and he asked me to come and live with Him.” “What did you say to Him, my child?” “I told Him I do not want to leave my dear father and mother, and my dear little brothers.” Her father then asked her, “What did God say then?” “He said”—she replied—“you may stay with them a little longer.” A short time before her death, she whispered to one of her playmates, then visiting at the house, “I am going to be an Angel.” It was an affecting sight when this beautiful creature lay in her coffin—surrounded by flowers—her small hands clasped on her bosom—and her little chair by its side, in which her fond parents would never see her more.

Hast thou gone up to God, on the wings of the morning,

Ere sin cast a shadow, or grief woke a sigh—

While fresh to thy young eye the world was just dawning,

And bright shone this beautiful dome of the sky?

Didst thou see Him, whom heavenly hosts are adoring—

Whom Sages and Saints long’d to see—but in vain,—

Who veil’d his own glory, our lost race restoring,

And rose from the dead in his glory again?

God is love. He came down to the little one’s dwelling,

And He spake in a still small voice to her ear,

As he spake on the Mount—when the storm had ceas’d swelling,

And the earthquake and fire—to Elijah, the seer.

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p. 45

For the angels of childhood are always beholding

The face of our Father in Heaven, we know—

And the words which she breathed a great truth were unfolding,

“I shall soon be an angel!”—And is it not so?

Weep no more! that thy lovely and loved one is taken—

Like rending the chords of the hearth though it seem,—

For, the death-robe of earth laid aside and forsaken,

She is happy with Him, whom she saw in her dream!

A Stranger in Boston.

[Jennie Sharp: the daughter of Elisha Brown (1803-1861) and Susan Bottomley (Sharp) Pratt (1816-1888); born in 1853 (See “Births Registered in the City of Boston for the Year 1853”; p. 513, #57; in Massachusetts, Birth Records, 1840-1915; at ancestry.com); died of scarlet fever 3 or 4 February 1857 (See “Deaths Registered in the City of Boston, for the Year 1857” 3 February 1857, #89; in: Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-1915; at ancestry.com. “Deaths in Boston During the Month [sic] of 1857” 4 February 1857, line 89; in: Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988. 4 February 1857.) Jennie’s connection with Samuel Griswold Goodrich is detailed in Moses S. Beach. Lineage of Richard Ely who settled at Lyme, Ct. New York, 1902; pp. 126, 236]

THE LITTLE GRAVES.

Side by side they ’re gently sleeping,

In a pleasant, quiet dell,

Gently sleeping, gently sleeping,

The little forms I loved so well.

Side by side they ’re sweetly singing,

’Mid the happy angel band,

All enraptured, all enraptured,

Sweetly singing hand in hand.

Oft in dreams I think I see them,

Robed in garments pure and white,

With celestial glory round them,

In the watches of the night.

Oft, methinks, I hear the flutter

Of their golden wings of light,

Poising o’er me, poising o’er me,

In the watches of the night

Then, methinks, I hear the echo

Of their music, soft and low,

So enchanting, so enchanting,

That I almost long to go.

Blessed spirits, hover near me,

Till this mortal life is o’er,

Gently bear me, gently bear me,

To yon bright and peaceful shore.

S. A. Southworth.

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p. 46

THE TRIO.

Died at Brooklyn, January 9th, Theodore Swan, aged 5 months and 10 days; March 5th, Charles Haddock, aged 5 years and 4 months; March 23d, Grace Webster, aged 2 years and 7 months, only children of Theodore and Grace W. Hinsdale.

And first of all the Baby went, sweet messenger! to throw

Wide open heaven’s golden gates through which they all must go!

So little time had passed away since down to earth he flew,

That all the path which upward led, right easily he knew;

And so he closed his violet eyes one still and starry even,

And, glad to spread his angel wings, flew quickly back to heaven!

And he, the Boy of noble brow, and earnest, manly ways,

For whom, with nameless hope and pride, we hailed the coming days,

What moved him to lie down so young upon a couch of pain,

And fold his hands in sleep from which he ne’er could wake again?

How well we loved him! All we prized we would have flung away

With joy, to lure that blessed child awhile on earth to stay—

But the Good Shepherd wanted him, and so, with tender tears,

We gave into his bosom the hope of future years!

And Grace, sweet Grace, the pensive, the quiet little girl,

(They should have called her Margaret, her mother’s purest pearl,)

It was not strange that she should go so lightly from us all,

For o’er the crystal battlements she heard her brother’s call;

So, peacefully she closed her eyes as they had done before,

And passed at holy midnight through Eden’s radiant door!

And as she lay at morning so tranquil and so fair,

With hands upon her bosom, and parted auburn hair,

Our tears were half of gladness that the three the Lord had given,

Away from earthly sorrow, were safe with Him in heaven!

Dean.

[Theodore Hinsdale (3 February 1819-19 Aug 1880) was a lawyer practicing in Brooklyn, New York (See Alfred L. Holman, editor. Hinsdale Genealogy: Descendants of Robert Hinsdale. Lombard, Illinois: Alfred Hinsdale Andrews, 1906; pp. 206-209. at ancestry.com). Grace W. (Haddock) Hinsdale (17 May 1832-) published a number of poems and hymns in various periodicals and collections; her father was Daniel Webster's nephew (see entry for Charles Brickett Haddock in the Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography). Grace Webster Hinsdale: born 24 July 1854; died 23 March 1857. Charles Haddock Hinsdale: born 15 October 1851; died 5 March 1857. Theodore Swan Hinsdale: born 29 July 1856; died 9 January 1857. (See Holman.) Theodore and Grace later had two boys and two girls, all of whom lived to be adults.]

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p. 47

WHO ARE THEY?

Who are they whose little feet,

Pacing life’s dark journey through,

Now have reached that heavenly seat,

They had ever kept in view?

‘I from Greenland’s frozen land;’

‘I from India’s sultry plain;’

‘I from Afric’s barren sand;’

‘I from Islands on the main.’

‘All our earthly journey past,

Every tear and pain gone by,

Here together meet at last,

At the portals of the sky;

Each the welcome ‘Come’ awaits,

Conquerors o’er death and sin!

Lift your heads ye golden gates,

And let the little travelers in.’

THE SLEEPING DEAD.

When the hours of day are numbered,

And the voices of the night

Wake the better soul that slumbered,

To a holy, calm delight:

Ere the evening lamps are lighted,

And, like phantoms grim and tall,

Shadows from the fitful firelight

Dance upon the parlor wall:

Then the forms of the departed

Enter at the open door;

The beloved, the true-hearted,

Come to visit me once more.

He, the young and strong, who cherished

Noble longings for the strife,

By the roadside fell and perished,

Weary with the march of life!

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p. 48

They, the holy ones and weakly,

Who the cross of suffering bore,

Folded their pale hands so meekly,

Spake with us on earth no more!

And with them, the being beauteous,

Who unto my youth was given,

More than all things else that love me,

And is now a saint in heaven:

With a slow and noiseless footstep,

Comes that messenger divine—

Takes the vacant chair beside me,

Lays her gentle hand in mind:

And she sits and gazes at me,

With those deep and tender eyes,

Like the stars, so still and saint-like,

Looking downward from the skies.

Uttered not, yet comprehended,

Is the spirit’s voiceless prayer:

Soft rebukes, in blessings ended,

Breathing from her lips of air.

Oh! though oft depressed and lonely,

All my fears are laid aside,

If I but remember only

Such as those have lived and died!

Longfellow.

THE HEAVENLY LAND.

There is a land where beauty will not fade,

Nor sorrow dim the eye;

Where true hearts will not shrink or be dismayed,

And love will never die.

Tell me—I fain would go,

For I am burdened with a heavy woe;

The beautiful have left me all alone;

The true, the tender, from my path have gone;

And I am weak, and fainting with despair;

Where is it? Tell me, where!

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p. 49

Friend, thou must trust in Him who trod before

The desolate paths of life;

Must bear in meekness, as he meekly bore,

Sorrow, and toil and strife.

Think how the Son of God

These thorny paths hath trod;

Think how he longed to go,

Yet tarried out for the appointed woe;

Think of his loneliness in places dim,

Where no man comforted nor cared for him;

Think how he prayed, unaided and alone,

In that dread agony, “Thy will be done!”

Friend, do not thus despair,

Christ, in his heaven of heavens, will hear thy prayer.

GOD’S WAY BEST.

Why does the Lord remove

These guileless children home:

These forms of beauty, hearts of love,

So much like beings from above,

Who here cheer us come?

Why does he not prolong

Their joy-imparting stay?

he lets them join the earthly throng,

Awhile to cheer us with their song,

Then snatches them away.

Be still, my murmuring breast,

Less than the least of saints,

For God knows where and when ’t is best,

To take his children home to rest;

Then silence thy complaints.

If heaven needs the child,

To make its joys complete,

Cling not to him with passions wild,

But with a spirit meek and mild,

Bow down at Jesus’ feet.

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p. 50

The patient Christian bears,

The Lord’s unerring sway,

Sunshine or clouds, he offers prayers,—

He loves his Master when he spares,

And when he takes away.

Daniel Wolcott.

TO THE TRIED CHRISTIAN.

Leave God to order all thy ways,

And hope in Him, whate’er betide,

Thou ’lt find Him in the evil days

Thy all-sufficient strength and guide;

Who trusts in God’s unchanging love,

Builds on the rock that naught can move.

What can these anxious cares avail,

These never-ceasing moans and sighs?

What can it help us to bewail

Each painful moment as it flies?

Our cross and trials do but press

The heavier for our bitterness.

Only thy restless heart keep still,

And wait in cheerful hope, content

To take whate’er his gracious will,

His all-discerning love hath sent.

Doubt not our inmost wants are known

To Him who chose us for his own.

He knows when joyful hours are best,

He sends them as he sees it meet;

When thou hast borne the fiery test,

And art made free from all deceit,

He comes to thee all unaware,

And makes thee His own loving care.

Nor in the heat of pain and strife,

Think God hath cast thee off unheard,

And that the man whose prosperous life

Thou enviest, is of Him preferred.

Time passes, and much change doth bring,

And sets a bound to every thing.

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p. 51

Sing, pray, and swerve not from His ways,

But do thine own part faithfully,

Trust his rich promises of grace,

So shall they be fulfilled in thee;

God never yet forsook at need

The soul that trusted Him indeed,

From the German.

“IN RAMAH IS A VOICE HEARD.”

Not the ripe ears alone,

But gentle flowers now blown,

Fall with the reaper’s stroke.

This blossom of thy love,

The Reaper, Death, has broke.

Yet, mother! look above,

And soothe thy bosom’s pain,

For there, in Paradise, thy flower thou shalt regain.

THE FIRST MARTYRS.

Weep, weep not o’er thy children’s tomb,

O Rachel, weep not so;

The bud is cropt by martyrdom,

The flower in heaven shall blow.

Firstlings of faith! the murderer’s knife

Hath missed its deadly aim;

The God for whom they gave their life

For them to suffer came.

Though evil were their days, and few,

Baptized in blood and pain,

He knows them, whom they never knew,

And they shall live again.

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p. 52

AN INFANT’S DEATH.

Be—rather than be called—a child of God,”

Death whispered. With assenting nod,

Its head upon its mother’s breast,

The baby bowed without demur;

Of the kingdom of the blest

Possessor—not inheritor.

Coleridge.

EPITAPH.

Ere sin could blight, or sorrow fade,

Death came with friendly care,

The opening bud to heaven conveyed,

And bade it blossom there.

SUDDEN DEATH OF A CHILD.

Just as the child could totter on the floor,

And, by some friendly fingers’ help upstayed,

Range through the garden walk, where low-ground flowers

Were peeping forth—shy messengers of Spring—

Even at that hopeful time, the winds of March,

One sunny day, smiting insiduously,

Raised in the tender passage of the throat,

Viewless obstruction; whence, all unforewarned,

The household lost their hope and soul’s delight.

But Providence—that gives and takes away,

By his own laws—is merciful and just;

Time wants not power to soften all regrets,

And prayer, and thought, can bring to worst distress

Due resignation. Therefore, though some tears

Fail not to spring from either parent’s eye,

Oft as they hear of sorrow like their own;

Yet this departed little one, too long

The innocent trouble of their quiet, sleeps

In what may now be called a peaceful grave.

Wordsworth.

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p. 53

OUR JOSIE SLEEPS.

I saw her in her casket, clad in a snowy shroud,

And o’er her cold and marble form her weeping parents bowed;

The eye was closed, the pulse was still, gone was the fluttering breath,

While sweetly there she slumbered on, the dreamless sleep of death.

O! weeping parents, well ye know your child is happy now,

That every trace of grief and pain has fled her cherub brow;

Though she has left your cradling arms, yet she is there at rest,

Folded within the Savior’s arms, upon his loving breast.

A little harp of purest gold by angel hands is given,

And its melodious strains are heard throughout the courts of heaven;

List! we can almost hear the sounds of your sweet infant’s lyre,

As her soft hands, with gentlest touch, sweep o’er each quivering wire.

Surely ye would not wish her back in this sad world of ours,

Where every pleasure has its pain, where thorns grow ’mid the flowers;

But with a calm and trustful heart lay her beneath the sod,

Nor murmur that your Father’s hand hath raised the chastening rod.

“God gave, God taketh,—let thy will, thy holy will be done,”

Breathe this low prayer above the dust of thy sweet infant one;

O! stay your aching hearts on Him who knoweth all your woe,

And he will bear your spirits up, your tears will cease to flow.

LINES SUGGESTED

On hearing a funeral sermon from the text, “What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.”

A smiling babe reposed

Upon its mother’s breast;

The parent, with a song,

Hushed her sweet child to rest;

Nor dreamed that soon the precious trust

Would fade, and moulder in the dust!

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p. 54

Alas! how frail is life,—

How transient earthly joys:

The brightest vision fades,

And death our hopes destroys.

The spoiler came,—in grief and woe

The mother cried,“Why is it so!”

Mysterious seemed the hand

That sent the fearful blow;—

Kindred and friends around

Asked, Why must this be so?

The wife, with weeping children left,

Cried, “Why, O why, am I bereft!”

Weep on! the tears will flow

For sorrow such as thine!

The heart must feel its woe,

Yet let it not repine.

Bid every murmuring thought remove,—

Thy Father chastens whom he loves.

O then in meekness bow,—

He kindly sends the rod;—

Not willingly afflicts,

Nor grieves thee, but for good.

Ye know not now” why it is so,—

But trust,—hereafter ye shall know.

Marie.

OUR PLEASANT HILL OF GRAVES.

There is a green and sunny spot,

A spot most fair to see,

Nor lordly hall, nor peasant’s cot,

Hath half such charms for me.

The dark pine crowns its verdant sides,

Its base the bright stream laves,

’T is where the yew and cypress shade

Our pleasant hill of graves.

The houses there are many,

But each one dwells apart,

No sickness comes to any,

Nor sorrow of the heart,

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p. 55

Their slumbers are not tended

By minions, or by slaves,

Yet all rest sweetly, safely, on

Our pleasant hill of graves.

The stars their nightly vigils keep,

As silently they move,

With sleepless eye, and patient watch,

They guard these homes of love.

When threatening clouds o’ercast the sky,

And wild the tempest raves,

The deadly blast sweeps harmless by

Our pleasant hill of graves.

Of gold, and gems, and jewels rare,

Earth hides a countless store,

If we may trust the sages

Deep read in nature’s lore:

And many a pearl lies buried

In ocean’s shining caves,

But sacred treasures sleep within

Our pleasant hill of graves.

Then let me often wander where

The forms of loved ones lay,

For by their side I learn to bear,

The trials of life’s way.

And there I find it sweet to think

Of Him, who sinners saves,

Whose death, a halo sheds around

Our pleasant hill of graves.

Anna L. Angier.

THE TWIN BABES.

Twin rose-buds crushed! How sad to see

Their radiant beauty fled,

And love’s most tender ministry

Unheeded round their bed,

And sorrow’s melancholy hue

Shading the spot where erst they grew.

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p. 56

Twin harps destroyed! We say ’t is so,

But err we not the while?

Methought I heard a cadence low

At day’s departing smile,

As though an angel stooped to say

Heaven’s message to the sons of clay;

“Twin cherubs came to our embrace,

Our white-robed host they join,

They gaze upon the Savior’s face,

And taste of bliss divine,

While still with voices sweetly strong

They join our everlasting song.”

L. H. Sigourney.

DEATH OF CLARA.

Died in Globe Village, Jan. 22, 1857, Clara Merriam, daughter of Capt. Levi Bartlett, aged 4 years and 8 months. On Friday afternoon of the previous week, she was accidentally pushed into a pail of hot water, by a young playmate, and was thereby so badly scalded, as to die amid the most terrible physical agonies.

Remarkably patient, however, was the precious little sufferer till the last, and during the day and night previous to her decease, she kept her attendant singing over and over that beautiful hymn which she had recently learned in the Sunday School, commencing with the familiar lines:

“There is a happy land,

Far, far away,

Where saints in glory stand,

Bright, bright as day.”

The following appropriate verses, occasioned by her sad death, and written by a sister of the bereaved mother, were read, by request, at the Sabbath funeral:

Again and yet again the dirge-note soundeth,

And still again the monarch death has come,

And borne another lovely bud of promise

Up to the heavenly bower, its native home.

How peacefully the little child is sleeping,

Her white hands folded o’er a pulseless breast;

Thank God she’s free from that keen pain and anguish

Which racked her frame ere she was called to rest.

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p. 57

Oh! how we cling unto the little sleeper,

Who oft has clung to us in love and trust;

And still our hearts do cry in bitter anguish,

“How can we give the loved one back to dust?”

Ah! sister mine! we must yield up the casket,

though to it bound by nature’s holy spell,

“Dust unto dust,” it is the heavenly mandate,

“Spirit to god,” and say, that “IT IS WELL.”

Well for the gentle one whose placid beauty

We soon must hide beneath the church-yard sod,

Well that she’s gone to join your other children,

Whose pure young spirits early went to God.

Well for us all, although our hearts seem breaking,

Since on our souls this crushing grief hath fell—

God knew what golden chain would draw us upward,

He sent the chastening blow, and “it is well.”

Oh! heaven would lose one of its chief attractions,

To us it would not seem so bright and fair,

If round the great white throne of light and glory,

There were no little angel children there.

Let us rejoice, then, in our bitter anguish,

Though grief within our hearts hath made such dearth,

Rejoice that heaven is brighter, more attractive,

For this sweet flower death gathered from our hearth.

[Clara Merriam Bartlett: thirteenth child of Levi (1805-1877) and Eliza (Brackett) Bartlett (1807-1863); born 16 May 1852, Southbridge, Massachusetts (See Massachusetts, Birth Records, 1840-1915, for 1855, line 155; at ancestry.com); died 22 January 1857, Southbridge, Massachusetts (See “Deaths Registered in the Town of Southbridge for 1857”; line 3; in: Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-1915; at ancestry.com)]

HEART-DEATHS.

Hearts oft die bitter deaths before

The breath is breathed away,

And number weary twilights o’er,

Ere the last evening gray.

I’ve sometimes looked on closed eyes

And folded hands of snow,

And said, “It was no sacrifice;

The heart went long ago.”

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p. 58

O blest were we, if every pang,

Like harshest discord given,

Proved a celestial bird which sang

And lured us up to heaven!

Dean.

“IF IT BE POSSIBLE, LET THIS CUP PASS FROM ME.”

Let this cup pass, my Father! I am sinking

In the deep waters which surround my soul,

And bitter grows the draught which I am drinking,

And higher rise the waves that round me roll.

Forsake me not in this my need extremest!

Let not Thy strengthening hand elude my grasp!

I know Thy love, even when Thou harshest seemest,—

Father most merciful! let this cup pass!

Life hath not laid her hand upon me lightly—

I have known sorrow, disappointment, pain,

Have seen hope clouded when it burned most brightly,

And false love fade, and falser friendship wane.

But now, fresh chains about my heart are linking,

And to my lip is pressed a fuller cup,

And from the draught my shuddering soul is shrinking,

Father! I cannot, cannot drink it up!

What have I said? Will not Thy grace sustain me?

Is Thine arm shortened that it cannot save?

Powerless indeed if Thou my God disdain me,

I can do all things with the help I crave.

Haste Thee to help me! that on Thee depending,

I may have strength to say, “Thy will be done,”

If this cup may not pass, Thine angel sending,

Aid me as Thou of old didst aid Thy Son!

And Thou, my Savior! once our weakness sharing,

Tempted in all things, yet untouched by sin,

Hear my wild cry! leave not my soul despairing!

Help me the cross to bear, the crown to win!

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p. 59

COMFORT.

Boatman! boatman! my brain is wild,

As wild as the rainy seas;

My poor little child, my sweet little child,

Is a corpse upon my knees.

No holy choir to sing so low—

No priest to kneel in prayer,

Nor tire-women to help me sew

A cap for his golden hair.

Dropping his oars in the briny sea,

The pious boatman cried,

Not without Him who is life to thee,

Could the little child have died!

His grace the same, and the same His power,

Demanding our love and trust,

Whether He makes of the dust a flower,

Or changes a flower to dust.

On the land and the water, all in all,

The strength to be still, or pray,

To blight the leaves in their time to fall,

Or light up the hills with May.

Alice Carey.

ON A CHILD.

This little seed of life and love,

Just lent us for a day,

Came, like a blessing from above—

Pass’d, like a dream, away.

And when we garnered in the earth

The foison that was ours,

We felt that burial was but birth

To spirits, as to flowers.

And still that benediction stays,

Although its angel pass’d;

Dear God! thy ways, if bitter ways,

We learn to love, at last.

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p. 60

But for the dream—it broke indeed—

Yet still great comfort gives:

What was a dream is now our creed—

We know our darling lives.

THE ANGEL BAND.

“I have marked it well—it must be true,

Death never takes one alone, but two!

o  o  o  o  o  o

Perhaps it is a mercy of God,

Lest the dead there under the sod,

In the land of strangers, should be lonely!”

“Room for my bird in Paradise,

And grant her angel pinions there.”

The sweet little songsters joyously sung within the household nest,

Till one darksome day to their home there came to them a stranger guest;

And he said, “At the Maker’s bidding from the spirit-land I come,

To bear little Arthur away to yonder bright celestial home.”

They saw but death’s sweeping pinions,—they saw not the welcome band,—

They saw not the harp that the angel placed in their little Arthur’s hand;

Yet the mother strove with meekness then to yield up the priceless gem,

Which the Maker for a few brief years had so kindly lent to them.

And again the Reaper came to earth, and from out a household bower

Culled he for the Garden of his Lord, the fairest, sweetest flower:

Hour by hour the blossom faded, till, as closed that April day,

With blest words of holy teaching little Eva passed away.

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p. 61

But the gentle, fair-haired sister could not stay on earth alone,

And she pined for angel Eva as the days passed sadly on;

And the Shepherd called so kindly with his voice of pitying love

That she gladly spread her little wings to take her flight above.

Now, within the sunny meadows of the far-off spirit-land,

Arthur, Eva, Mary wander, a bright, loving, cherub band;

And their smiles are bathed in the love-light of our Father’s smile,

And they listen to the music of heavenly harps the while.

THE REQUEST.

“What shall I render thee, Father supreme,

For thy rich gifts, and this the best of all?”

Said the young mother as she fondly watched

Her sleeping babe. There was an answering voice

That night in dreams:—

“Thou has a tender flower

Upon thy breast,—fed with the dews of Love;

Send me that flower. Such flowers there are in heaven.”

But there was silence. Yea, a hush so deep,

Breathless and terror-stricken, that the lip

Blanched in its trance.

“Thou hast a little harp,—

How sweetly would it swell the angels’ hymn!

Yield me that harp.”

There rose a shuddering sob,

As if the bosom, by some hidden sword,

Was cleft in twain.

Morn came—a blight had found

The crimson velvet of the unfolding bud.

The harp-strings rang a thrilling strain, and broke,—

And that young mother lay upon the earth

In silent agony. Again the voice

That stirred her vision:—

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p. 62

“He who asked of thee,

Loveth a cheerful giver.” So she raised

Her gushing eyes, and, ere the tear-drops dried

Upon their fringes, smiled—and that meek smile,

Like Abraham’s faith, was counted righteousness.

LITTLE MARY.

From the group of little faces

One is gone—

In the old familiar places

Sad and lone,

Father, mother, meek-eyed brother,

Sit and moan;

Sit and moan for one departed

Pure and mild,

Little Mary, gentle hearted,

Sinless child—

And as nestling memories thicken,

Griefs grow wild.

Home once bright, how cold and dreary!

Shadows deep

Fall on forms and hearts a-weary,

Eyes that weep—

Thought is in the church-yard, seeking

One asleep.

Still the merry laugh deceiving

Fills the ear,

Tiny arms, yet fondly cleaving,

Dry the tear;

Footfalls, silvery footfalls patter

Far and near.

Ears instinctive pause to hearken,

All in vain—

Days drag on and skies shall darken

O’er with pain;

But the heart will find its lost one

Ne’er again!

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p. 63

From the treasured fire-side faces

Here to-day,

From the tender, warm embraces

Dropped away,

Sleeps she midst forgotten sleepers

In the clay.

Ah! what weary numbers sighing

To be free,

Little Mary would be lying

Low with thee!

Where no care nor eating sorrow

E’er shall be.

Weep not when ye tell the story

Of the dead—

’T is a sunbeam joined the glory

Overhead!

“For of such sweet babes is heaven,”

Jesus said.

THE ROOM WHERE WILLIE DIED.

The stars are out—a radiant throng—

Their kindling glories fill the world;

The winds have hushed their mystic song,

Their viewless wings in rest are furled;

Each flower from its fairy vase

Is poured out a fragrant tide,

As I with mournful sadness trace

The room where Willie died.

’T was midnight’s hushed and holy hour—

We kneeled around that little bed

In terror, that Death’s cloud should lower

Around our precious darling’s head—

When, from its sombre night of gloom,

An Angel came with solemn glide,

And passed the threshold of that room—

The room where Willie died.

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p. 64

An Angel sad, and sable-stoled,

And cowled with darkness, silent came;

But while we gazed the darkness rolled,

And her form shone like sunset’s flame,

An Eden-glory lit each face,

They went in beauty side by side;

Like heaven’s portal seemed the place—

The room where Willie died.

And now, though strangers fill the place,

To us ’t is aye a holy spot;

’T is the heart’s Mecca, where we trace

A hope that ne’er can be forgot.

We ne’er so filled with peace can be,

Or be so near to Heaven allied,

As when our tear-filled eyes can see

The room where Willie died.

J. W. Hanson.

A SIGH AND A SMILE.

Ah heart! ah heart!

Why flutter so?

Too soon, I fear,

Thou’lt dream of woe—

For joys most sweet

Are but more fleet!

The fairest flower’s

The first to fade—

By sunbright dreams

Are shadows made.

Oh heart, elate,

Learn thou of fate!

But ever joy

With sorrow blends—

The blossom’s death

Sweet Faith attends—

And gloom new grace

To sunshine lends:

God takes—who gave;

O heart, be brave!

Winnie Woodville.

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p. 65

“LENT—NOT GIVEN.”

God takes the beautiful, the best;

They are but lent, not given:

He sets “his jewels” on his breast,

That they may shine in heaven.

THE SHADOW OF THE VALLEY.

There ’s a mossy shady valley,

And the waters wind and flow,

And the daisies sleep in winter,

’Neath a coverlid of snow;

And violets, blue-eyed violets,

Bloom in beauty in the spring,

And the sunbeams kiss the wavelets,

Until they seem to laugh and sing.

But in autumn, when the sunlight

Crowns the cedar-covered hill,

Shadows darken in the valley—

Shadows ominous and still;

And the yellow leaves like banners,

Of an Elfin’s host that’s fled,

Tinged with gold and royal purple,

Flutter sadly overhead.

And those shadows, gloomy shadows,

Like dim phantoms on the ground,

Stretch their dreamy length forever,

On a daisy-covered mound.

And I loved her, yes, I loved her,

But the angels love her too,

So, she ’s sleeping in the valley,

’Neath the sky so bright and blue.

And no slab of pallid marble,

Bears its white and ghastly head,

Telling wanderers in the valley

Of the virtues of the dead.

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p. 66

But a lily is her tomb-stone,

And a dew-drop, pure and bright,

Is the epitaph an angel wrote,

In the stillness of the night.

And I ’m mournful, very mournful,

For my soul doth ever crave,

For the falling of the shadows,

From that little woodland grave.

For the memory of the loved one

From my soul will never part;

And those shadows in the valley,

Dim the sunshine of my heart.

OUR DARLING.

He lay upon his little couch,

And raised his radiant eye,

So bright, so clear, we could n’t deem

Our darling one must die.

No shadow rested on his brow,

No fear his bosom thrilled,

For with a child’s unwavering faith

His infant heart was filled.

“I know dear Jesus loves me now,”

He said, and sweetly smiled,

“And I love him, and long to go

To be in heaven his child.”

We wept, yet midst our tears rejoiced,

As, whispering soft and low,

He breathed, “To Jesus’ loving arms,

Dear parents, let me go.”

As shone upon his golden hair

The Sabbath dawning ray,

He stretched his little arms to heaven,

And, smiling, passed away.

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p. 67

The hands were clasped, the eyelids drooped,

The snowy cheek grew cold:

But our bright darling one ’s at rest

In the good Shepherd’s fold.

HEART, LIE STILL!

“Heart, heart, lie still!

Life is fleeting fast,

Strife will soon be past.”

“I cannot lie still,

Beat strong I will.”

“Heart, heart, lie still!

Joy ’s but joy, and pain ’s but pain;

Either little loss or gain.”

“I cannot lie still,

Beat strong I will.”

“Heart, heart, lie still!

Heaven is over all,

Rules this earthly ball.”

“I cannot lie still,

Beat strong I will.”

“Heart, heart, lie still!

Heaven’s sweet grace alone,

Can keep in peace its own.”

“Let that me fill,

And I am still.”

SAFETY OF THE INFANT DEAD.

They only can be said to possess a child forever who have lost one in infancy.

Our beauteous child we laid amidst the silence of the dead,

We heaped the earth and spread the turf above the cherub head;

We turned again to sunny life, to other ties as dear,

And the world has thought us comforted, when we have dried the tear.

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p. 68

O we have one, and only one, secure in sacred trust,

It is the lone and lovely one that’s sleeping in the dust;

We fold it in our arms again, we see it by our side

In the helplessness of innocence, which sin has never tried.

All earthly trust, all mortal years, however light they fly,

But darken on the glowing cheek, and dim the eagle eye,

But there, our bright, unwithering flower—our spirit’s hoarded store—

We keep through every chance and change, the same forevermore.

DEATH OF A LITTLE BOY.

’T is not for thee, thou precious child, ’t is not for thee we weep,

For thou art where the storms of life by thee unheeded sweep;

Thou art among the favored ones, the highly blest of God,

Who, early called from earth away, ne’er felt the chastening rod,

Nor canst thou feel as if alone, for one thou lovedst on earth

Was ready in the spirit land to hail thy second birth.

But ’t is for those whose earthly hopes were fondly fixed on thee,

Who had, with deep affection, watched thy budding infancy;

For them we weep, and breathe the prayer that God would be their stay,

And pour into their wounded hearts sweet consolation’s ray;

Enabling them with cheerful trust to bow before the throne,

And in this trying hour to say—“Thy will, not ours, be done.”

A THOUGHT.

O happy arms, where cradled lies,

And ready for the Lord’s embrace,

That precious sacrifice,

The darling of his grace!

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p. 69

THE TWINS.

’T was summer, and a Sabbath eve,

And balmy was the air;

I saw a sight that made me grieve,

And yet that sight was fair:

Within a little coffin lay

Two lifeless babes, as sweet as May.

Like waxen dolls which children dress,

The little bodies were;

A look of placid happiness

Did in each face appear:

And in the coffin, short and wide;

They lay together, side by side.

Their mother, as a lily pale,

Sat by them on their bed;

And bending o’er them told her tale,

And many a tear she shed;

Yet oft she cried amidst her pain,

“My babes and I shall meet again.”

THE MOTHER’S FIRST GRIEF.

She sits beside the cradle,

And her tears are streaming fast,

For she sees the present only,

While she thinks of all the past:

Of the day so full of gladness,

When her first born’s answering kiss

Thrill’d her soul with such a rapture

That it knew no other bliss.

O these happy, happy moments!

They but deepen her despair,

For she bends above the cradle,

And her baby is not there!

There are words of comfort spoken,

And the leaden clouds of grief

Wear the smiling brow of promise,

And she feels a sad relief;

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p. 70

But her wavering thoughts still wander,

Till they settle on the scene

Of the dark and silent chamber,

And of all that might have been;

For a little vacant garment,

Or a shining tress of hair,

Tells her heart in tones of anguish,

That her baby is not there!

She sits beside the cradle,

But her tears no longer flow,

for she sees a blessed vision,

And forgets all earthly wo;

Saintly eyes look down upon her,

And the voice that hushed the sea

Stills her spirit with the whisper,

“Suffer them to come to Me.”

And while her soul is lifted

On the soaring wings of prayer,

Heaven’s crystal gates swing inward,

And she sees her baby there!

REQUIEM.

Lowly, shining head,

Where we lay thee down

With the lowly dead,

Droop thy golden crown!

Meekly, marble palms,

Fold across the breast,

Sculptured in white calms

Of unbreaking rest!

Softly, starry eyes,

Veil your darkened spheres,

Never more to rise

In summer-shine or tears.

Stilly, slender feet,

Rest from rosy rhyme,

With the ringing sweet

Of a silver chime!

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p. 71

Holy smile of God,

Spread thy glory mild

Underneath the sod,

On this little child.

LITTLE JIM.

The cottage was a thatched one, the outside old and mean,

Yet everything within that cot was wondrous neat and clean;

The night was dark and stormy, the wind was howling wild,

A patient mother watched beside the death-bed of her child.

A little worn out creature—his once bright eyes grew dim;

It was a collier’s wife and child, they called him “Little Jim.”

And, oh! to see the briny tears, fast hurrying down her cheek,

As she offered up a prayer—in thought; she was afraid to speak,

Lest she might waken one she loved far better than her life;

For she had all a mother’s heart, had that poor collier’s wife.

With hands uplifted, see, she kneels beside the sufferer’s bed,

And prays that He will spare her boy, and take herself instead.

She got her answer from the boy soft fell those words from him,

“Mother, the angels do so smile, and beckon little Jim,

I have no pain, dear mother, now, but oh! I am so dry,

Just moisten poor Jim’s lips again, and mother don’t you cry.”

With gentle, trembling haste, she held a teacup to his lips,

He smiled to thank her, as he took three little tiny sips.

“Tell father when he comes from work, I bid good night to him,

And, mother, now I’ll go to sleep.” Alas, poor little Jim!

She saw that he was dying; that the child she loved so dear,

Had uttered the last words she might ever hope to hear.

The cottage door is opened, the cotter’s step is heard,

The father and the mother meet, yet neither speek a word.

His quivering lip gave token of the grief he’d fain conceal;

And see, his wife has joined him, the stricken couple kneel;

With hearts bowed down by sadness, they humbly ask of Him,

In Heaven once more to meet their own dear little Jim.

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p. 72

MY ANGEL NAME.

“And they shall see his face: and His name shall be in their foreheads.”—Rev.22: 4.

In the land where I am going

When my earthly life is o’er—

Where the tired hands cease their striving,

And the tired heart aches no more—

In that land of light and beauty,

Where no shadow ever came,

To o’ercloud the perfect glory—

What shall be my Angel name?

When the spirits who await me,

Meet me at my entering in;

With what name of love and music

Will their welcoming begin?

Not the one so dimmed with earth stains,

Joined with thoughts of grief and blame;

No—the name that mortals give me,

Will not be my Angel name!

I have heart it all too often,

Uttered by unloving lips—

Marked how care, and sin, and sorrow,

Shroud it with their deep eclipse.

I shall change it like a garment,

When I leave this mortal frame,

And with life’s immortal baptism,

I shall have another name!

There the Angels will not call me

By the name I bear on earth;

They will speak a holier language

Where I have my holier birth—

Syllabled in heavenly music,

Sweeter far than earth my claim—

Very gentle, pure, and tender—

Such will be my Angel name!

It has thrilled my spirit often,

In the holiest of my dreams;

But its beauty lingers with me,

Only like the morning beams.

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p. 73

Weary of the jarring discord,

Which the lips of mortals frame,

When shall I, with joy and rapture,

Answer to my Angel name?

BEAUTIFUL BELIEF.

It is a beautiful belief

That ever round our head

Are hovering, on viewless wings,

The spirits of the dead.

NOT IN VAIN.

Oh not in vain thy life! Thou hast not sown,

Yet the rich harvest reapest as thine own;

Thou hast not fought, but thou hast won the prize,

Hast never borne the cross, yet gained the skies.

LOW SHE LIES.

Low she lies who blest our eyes

Through many a sunny day;

She may not smile, she will not rise,—

The life has past [sic] away!

Yet there is a world of light beyond,

Where we neither die nor sleep;

She is there, of whom our souls were fond,

Then, wherefore do we weep?

The heart is cold, whose thoughts were told

In each glance of her glad bright eye;

And she lies pale, who was so bright,

She scarce seemed made to die.

Yet we know that her soul is happy now,

Where the saints their calm watch keep,

That angels are crowning that fair young brow,—

Then, wherefore do we weep?

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p. 74

Her laughing voice made all rejoice,

Who caught the happy sound;

there was a gladness in her very step,

As it lightly touched the ground.

The echoes of voice and step are gone,

There is silence still and deep,

Yet we know that she sings by God’s high throne,

Then, wherefore do we weep?

That world of light with joy is bright,

This is a world of woe;

Shall we grieve that her soul has taken flight,

Because we dwell below?

We will bury her under the mossy sod,

And one long bright tress we’ll keep;

We have only given her back to God,—

Then, wherefore do we weep?

Mrs. Norton.

MY CHILD.

I cannot make him dead!

His fair sunshiny head

Is ever bounding round my study chair;

Yet, when my eyes, now dim

With tears, I turn to him,

The vision vanishes,—he is not there!

I walk my parlor floor,

And through the open door

I hear a footfall on the chamber stair:

I’m stepping toward the hall,

To give the boy a call,

And then bethink me that he is not there!

I thread the crowded street;

A satchelled lad I meet,

With the same beaming eyes and colored hair,

And as he ’s running by,

Follow him with my eye,

Scarcely believing that—he is not there!

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p. 75

I know his face is hid

Under the coffin lid;

Closed are his eyes; cold is his forehead fair;

My hand that marble felt;

O’er it in prayer I knelt;

Yet my heart whispers that—he is not there!

* * * * *

Not there! Where, then, is he?

The form I used to see

Was but the raiment that he used to wear.

The grave, that now doth press

Upon that cast off dress,

Is but his wardrobe locked; he is not there!

He lives!—In all the past

He lives; nor, to the last,

Of seeing him again will I despair;

In dreams I see him now;

And, on his angel brow,

I see it written, “Thou shalt see me there!

Yes, we all live to God!

Father, thy chastening rod

So help us, thine afflicted ones to bear,

That, in the spirit land,

Meeting at thy right hand,

’T will be our heaven to find that—he is there!

John Pierpont.

THE SPIRIT OF THE DEPARTED.

I know thou art gone to thy home of rest;

Then why should my soul be sad?

I know thou art gone where the weary are blest,

And the mourner looks up and is glad;

Where love has put off, in the land of its birth,

The stain it had gathered in this,

And Hope, the sweet singer that gladdened the earth,

Lies asleep on the bosom of bliss.

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p. 76

In thy far-away dwelling, wherever it be,

I believe thou hast visions of mine;

And thy love, that made all things as music to me,

I have not yet learned to resign;

In the hush of the night, on the waste of the sea,

Or alone with the breeze on the hill,

I have ever a presence that whispers of thee,

And my spirit bows down and is still.

And though like a mourner that sits by a tomb,

I am wrapped in a mantle of care;

Yet the grief of my bosom, O call it not gloom,

Is not the black grief of despair:

By sorrow revealed as the stars are by night,

Far off a bright vision appears,

And Hope, like a rainbow, a creature of light,

Is born, like the rainbow, in tears.

T. R. Hervey.

THE BABE WHO LOVED MUSIC.

There was an infant, fair as light,

With eye of heavenly blue,

A sudden cloud enwrapped the scene,

And paleness o’er his placid mien

Diffused a death-like hue.

So, now, no more his eager feet

Close to the harp shall pass,

Nor to the sweetly-measured chime

His little hand keep perfect time,

In playful tenderness.

But doubtless in that better clime,

Where none have shed the tear,

Where discord mars no music strain,

The soul of melody shall gain

Its own congenial sphere.

Mrs. Sigourney.

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p. 77

THE EARLY FLED.

Music and flowers, the heaven-born and the fair,

Thou loved’st, and hast fled where neither fade,

Where neither die; and where no cloud shall dare

The noontide of thy happiness invade.

Too early fled! ah, weeper, say’st thou so?

Was it too early from all sin to part?

Or ’scape those shafts of agonizing woe

That rankle in the loitering pilgrim’s heart?

Love droopeth for its loss. But as for thee,

Faith lifts a song, and o’er thy place of sleep

The tender floweret, blooming timidly,

Doth of thy loveliness meet record keep.

Sweet friend, a sweet farewell! till at the feet

Of thy Redeemer dear, the mourned and mourner meet.

The Same.

THE CONSENTING MOTHER.

“I see green fields, and glowing flowers;

I see bright streamlets flow;

Sweet voices call to glorious bowers,

Dear mother! let me go.”

His cheek grew pale. Had hasting Death

Dealt the last fatal blow?

List! list! once more that fainting breath,

“Oh mother! let me go.”

How could her love the soul detain,

That struggled to be free?

Or, leaguing with the tyrant Pain,

Obstruct its liberty?

“Lord! not my will,” she said, “but Thine,”

And high her darling soared,

And from the skies that ever shine

An angel’s descant poured.

The Same.

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p. 78

HOPE ON.

Though our sky is overcast, love,

And clouds are gathering still,

Let us, with trust in God, love,

Hope on, through every ill.

Our day ’s but just begun, love,

But time is flitting past,

And we’ll, with brave, strong hearts, love,

Hope on, until the last.

“Our Father ’s at the helm,” love,

And he will safely guide;

Then turn to him in faith, love,

Whatever may betide.

A brighter day will dawn, love,

The clouds will disappear;

So, when the storm beats now, love,

Hope on, and never fear.

THE TIME TO DIE.

I asked the glad and happy child,

Whose hands were filled with flowers,

Whose silvery laugh rang free and wild

Among the vine-wreathed bowers;

I crossed her sunny path, and cried,

“When is the time to die?”

“Not yet! not yet!” the child replied,

And swiftly bounded by.

I asked a mother, as she pressed

Her first-born in her arms,

As gently on her tender breast

She hushed her babe’s alarms;

In quivering tone her accents came,

Her eyes were dim with tears;

“My boy his mother’s heart must claim

For many, many years.”

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p. 79

I asked a Christian—“Answer thou,

When is the hour of death?”

A holy calm was on his brow,

And peaceful was his breath,

And sweetly o’er his features stole

A smile, a light divine;

He spoke the language of his soul—

“My Maker’s time is mine.”

THE CHILD’S WISH.

I think when I read that sweet story of old,

When Jesus was here among men,

How he called little children like lambs to his fold,

I should like to have been with them then.

I wish that his hand had been placed on my head,

That his arms had been thrown around me,

And that I might have seen his kind look, when he said,

“Let the little ones come unto me.”

Yet still to his footstool in prayer I may go,

And ask for a share in his love;

And if I thus earnestly seek him below,

I shall see him and hear him above.

In that beautiful place he is gone to prepare,

For all who are washed and forgiven;

And many dear children are gathering there,

For “of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

I long for the joy of that glorious time,

The sweetest and brightest and best,

When the dear little children of every clime,

Shall crowd to his arms and be blest.

GONE.

Another hand is beckoning on,

Another call is given;

And glows once more with angel steps

The path which reaches heaven.

-----
p. 80

One young and gentle friend, whose smile

Made brighter summer hours,

Amid the frosts of autumn time

Has left us with the flowers.

We miss her in the place of prayer,

And by the hearth-fire’s light;

We pause beside her door to hear

Once more her sweet “Good night.”

There seems a shadow in the day,

Her smile no longer cheers;

A dimness on the stars of night,

Like eyes that look through tears.

Alone, unto our Father’s will

Our thoughts were reconciled;

That he whose love exceedeth ours

Hath taken home his child.

Fold her, oh, Father, in thine arms,

And let her henceforth be

A messenger of love, between

Our human hearts and thee.

J. G. Whittier.

BURY ME IN THE GARDEN.

“Her soul was on her lips, as she whispered again, ‘Bury me in the garden, mother—bury me in the’—and a slight quiver came over her limbs—one feeble struggle, and all was still.”

Day was in splendor closing,

A beauteous summer day;

Upon a bed of suffering

A dying infant lay.

A mother clasped her franticly, [sic]

With grief and anguish wild,

And thus into the mother’s ear

Whispered the dying child

“Bury me in the garden,

Where my sisters oft will bring

The flowers we loved to gather,

The first sweet flowers of Spring.

-----
p. 81

Where the early violets blossom,

Where blooms the fragrant rose,

Where the lily bends its stately head,

And the leafy myrtle grows.

Bury me in the garden,

Among the flowers I love;

Oft shall my spirit wander there,

From its bright home above—”

With this last, dying, earnest wish,

Has her happy spirit flown;

Her grave is in the garden,

But Heaven has claimed its own.

Bury her in the garden,

Among the flowers she loved;

Oft shall her spirit wander there,

From her bright home above.

THE SPIRIT’S SONG OF CONSOLATION.

Dear parents, grieve no more for me,

My parents, grieve no more!

Believe that I am happier far

Than even with you before.

I’ve left a world where woe and sin

Swell onward as a river,

And gained a world where I shall rest

In peace and joy forever.

Our Father bade me come to him,

He gently bade me come,

And he has made his heavenly house

My dwelling place and home;

On that best day of all the seven,

Which saw the Savior rise,

I heard the voice you could not hear,

Which called me to the skies.

I saw, too, what you could not see,

Two beauteous angels stand,

They smiling stood and looked at me,

And beckoned with their hand;

-----
p. 82

They said they were my sisters dear,

And they were sent to bear

My spirit to their blest abode,

To live forever there.

Then think not of the mournful time,

When I resigned my breath,

Nor of the place where I was laid,

The gloomy house of death;

But think of that high world, where I

No more shall suffer pain;

And of the time when all of us

In heaven shall meet again.

F. W. P. Greenwood.

BALLAD—FROM THE GERMAN.

Among green pleasant meadows

All in a grove so mild,

Was set a marble image

Of the virgin and the child.

There oft, on summer evenings,

A lovely boy would rove,

To play beside the image

That sanctified the grove.

Oft sat his mother by him,

Among the shadows dim,

And told how the Lord Jesus

Was once a child like him.

“And now from highest heaven

He doth look down each day,

And sees what e’er thou doest,

And hears what thou dost say.”

Thus spake his tender mother;

And on an evening bright,

When the red round sun descended

’Mid clouds of crimson light,—

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p. 83

Again the boy was playing;

And earnestly said he,

“O beautiful Lord Jesus,

Come down and stay with me.”

Thus spake the boy so lovely;

The while his mother heard;

But on his prayer she pondered,

And spake to him no word.

That self-same night she dreamed

A lovely dream of joy;

She thought she saw young Jesus

There playing with the boy.

“In yonder fields of heaven

Thou shalt roam with me at will,

And of bright fruits celestial,

Shall have, dear child, thy fill.”

Thus tenderly and kindly

The fair child Jesus spoke;

And full of careful musings

The anxious mother woke.

And thus it was accomplished;

In a short month and day,

That lovely boy, so gentle,

Upon his death-bed lay.

And thus he spoke in dying:

“O mother dear, I see

The beautiful child Jesus

A-coming down to me;—

And in his hand he beareth

Bright flowers, as white as snow,

And a brilliant crown of glory:

Dear mother, let me go.”

He died—but that fond mother

Her sorrow did restrain;

For she knew he was with Jesus,

And she asked him not again!

-----
p. 84

MARY’S DREAM.

I ’ll sit by you, my mother,

And tell you of a dream,

That to your darling Mary

Last night so sweetly came;

While sitting by the rose-bush,

And thinking of its flowers,

And how with little Emma

I ’ve played by it for hours.

And soon there shone around me

A pale and holy light,

I wondered why it felt so,

and why it was so bright;

And soon, amid the brightness,

I saw an angel child,

Such looks of love she gave me,

And beautifully smiled.

And then I knew ’t was Emma,

All clothed in robes of white;

Her words, they were all music,

Her form seemed made of light;

She said, in tones of music,

“Sweet sister, do not fear:

I come to you, my Mary,

To comfort and to cheer.

I ’m ever round you, Mary,

With these celestial flowers,

I lay them in your pathway,

I hang them on your bowers;

You cannot see their beauty,

But blessings they impart,

And keep all sinful feelings

Away from Mary’s heart.”

Thus saying, she smiled sweetly,

And faded from my view:

I woke, and found it dreaming;

Yet, O, it must be true!

I ’m not alone, my mother,

I know a form of light,

A blessed guardian angel,

Is round me day and night.

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p. 85

MINISTERING ANGELS.

Mother, has the dove that nestled

Lovingly upon thy breast,

Folded up its little pinions,

And in darkness gone to rest?

Nay, the grave is dark and dreary,

But the lost one is not there;

Hear’st thou not its gentle whisper,

Floating on the ambient air?

It is near thee, gentle mother,

Near thee at the evening hour;

Its soft kiss is in the zephyr,

It looks up from every flower.

And when, night’s dark shadows fleeing,

Low thou bendest thee in prayer,

And thy heart feels nearest heaven,

Then thy angel-babe is there.

O! the children that we ’ve cherished,

How we weep to see them die!

All unthinking thy ’re the angels

That will guide us to the sky!

Fanny Forester.

THEODORE.

The night is wild, my Theodore;

The snow is blown the windows o’er;

The shadows play along the wall,

And on thy empty cradle fall.

Thy empty cradle! Jesus! Lord!

Thou knowest ’t is a bitter word!

For once my lamb was tended there,

So innocent, so spotless fair.

It sheltered once the purest lily

That ever oped in air so chilly,

My violet-eyed!—my Theodore!

No April can thy bloom restore.

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p. 86

Yet, O thou Shepherd, tender, good,

I would not clasp him if I could,

For free from pain and sorrow’s hold,

He nestles in thine upper fold!

Nor would I keep my purest lily

Within this earthly air so chilly,

When by Life’s river it can grow,

And in immortal beauty blow,

Nor would I have those violet eyes

Open on aught but Paradise!

Still more in Heaven, my sweetest joy,

God bless thee, O my angel boy!

Dean.

THE LOVED ONE GONE.

The following gem originally appeared in the Louisville Journal. There are few households where the Death Angel has never “left his print upon the latch,” and to all the bereaved this poem must come sweetly and solemnly, like the voice of their own soul.

A light is from our household gone,

A voice we loved is stilled,

A place is vacant on our hearth

Which never can be filled;

A gentle heart, that throbbed but now

With tenderness and love,

Has hushed its weary throbbings here

To throb in bliss above.

Yes, to the home where angels are,

Her trusting soul has fled,

And yet we bend above her tomb

With tears, and call her dead;

We call her dead; but ah, we know

She dwells where living waters flow.

We miss thee from our home, dear one,

We miss thee from thy place—

O! life will be so dark without

The sunshine of thy face!

We wait for thee at eve’s sweet hour,

When stars begin to burn,

-----
p. 87

We linger in thy cottage porch,

To look for thy return.

But vainly for thy coming step

We list through all the hours—

We only hear the wood’s low voice

That murmurs through the flowers,

And the dark river’s solemn hymn

Sweeping among the woodlands dim.

The bird we loved is singing yet

Above our cottage door,

We sigh to hear it singing now,

Since heard by thee no more.

The sunshine and the trembling leaves,

The blue o’erarching sky,

The music of the wandering winds

That float in whispers by—

All speak in tender tones to me

Of all life’s parted hours and thee.

I do not see thee now, dear one,

I do not see thee now,

But even when the twilight breeze

Steals o’er my lifted brow,

I hear thy voice upon my ear,

In murmurs low and soft,

I hear the words of tenderness

That I have heard so oft;

And on my wounded spirit falls

A blessing from above,

That whispers, though thy life is o’er,

We have not lost thy love;

Ah, no! thy heart in death grown cold,

Still loves us with a love untold.

No need of Fame’s proud voice for thee,

No need for earthly fame,

Thou art enshrined in our fond hearts,

And that is all the same;

Ay, full of faith, and trust, and hope,

We tread life’s troubled sea;

Till the last throbbing wave of time

Shall bear our souls to thee—

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p. 88

To thee, oh! it will be so sweet,

With all our sins forgiven,

To mingle with our loved and lost,

In our sweet home in heaven;

To spend with all the blest above

An endless life of perfect love!

OUR ELDEST BORN.

Thou bright and star-like spirit,

That in my visions wild

I see mid heaven’s seraphic host,

Oh, canst thou be my child?

My grief is quenched in wonder,

And pride arrests my sighs;

A branch of this unworthy stock

Now blossoms in the skies!

Our hopes of thee were lofty,

But have we cause to grieve?

Oh could our proudest, fondest wish,

A nobler fate conceive?

The little weeper—tearless;

The sinner—snatched from sin;

The babe—to more than manhood grown,

Ere childhood did begin.

And I—thy earthly teacher,

Would blush, thy powers to see;

Thou art to me a parent now,

And I a child to thee.

Thy brain, so uninstructed,

While in this lowly state,

Now threads the mazy track of spheres,

Or reads the book of fate.

Thine eyes, so curbed in vision,

Now range the realms of space,

Look down upon the rolling stars,

Look up—in God’s own face.

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p. 89

Thy little hand, so helpless

That scarce its toys could hold,

Now clasps its mate in holy prayer,

Or strikes a harp of gold.

Thy feeble feet, unsteady,

That tottered as they trod,

With angels walk the heavenly paths,

Or stand before their God.

What bliss is born of sorrow!

’T is never sent in vain!

The heavenly Surgeon maims to save,

He gives no useless pain.

Our God, to call us homeward,

His only Son sent down,

And now, still more to tempt our hearts,

Has taken up our own.

Thomas Ward.

TO A DYING CHILD.

Sweet child! that wasted form,

That pale and mournful brow,

O’er which thy long dark tresses

In shadowy beauty flow;

That eye whence soul is darting,

With such strange brilliancy,

Tell us thou art departing—

This world is not for thee.

No! not for thee is woven

That wreath of joy and woe,

That crown of thorns and flowers,

Which all must wear below.

We bend in anguish o’er thee,

Yet feel that thou art blest,

Loved one! so early summoned

To enter into rest.

O! thou art going home,

Our Father’s face to see

In perfect bliss and glory;

But we, oh, where are we!

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p. 90

While that celestial country

Thick clouds and darkness hide,

In a strange land of exile,

Still, still must we abide.

O Father of our spirits,

We can but look to thee!

Though chastened, not forsaken,

Shall we thy children be.

We take the cup of sorrow,

As did thy blessed Son,

Teach us to say with Jesus,

Thy will, not ours, be done.

MISSION OF THE ANGEL OF DEATH.

“Go forth,” said the heavenly Father,

To one of his seraph train,

“Go forth on an errand of mercy,

To the world of trouble and pain.

And away from earth’s noxious vapors

Some buds of beauty bring,

to bloom in the gardens celestial,

’Neath the smiles of perpetual spring.”

And the angel, with wing resplendent,

Went out from the heavenly band,

’Midst a chorus of joyful voices,

Resounding at God’s right hand.

Slowly night’s gathering shadows

Closed round a mother mild,

Who, tearful and heavy-hearted,

Watched by her dying child.

Fevered, and restless, and moaning,

On his little bed he lay,

When the bright-winged angel drew near him,

And kissed his last breath away.

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p. 91

So softly the chain was severed,—

So gently was stayed the breath,—

It soothed the heart of the mourner,

And she blest the Angel of Death.

For she knew that the soul of her darling

Had gone to his Father above,—

Clasped in the arms more tender

Than even her fondest love.

Mrs. Jewett.

GOOD FROM EVIL.

When death strikes down the innocent and young,

For every fragile form from which he lets

The parting spirit free,

A hundred virtues rise,

In shapes of mercy, charity, and love,

To walk the world and bless it.

Of every tear,

That sorrowing mortals shed on such green graves,

Some good is born, some gentler nature comes.

Dickens.

THE HAPPY BAND.

Around the throne of God, in heaven,

Thousands of children stand—

Children whose sins are all forgiven,

A holy, happy band,

Singing, Glory, glory.

In flowing robes of spotless white,

See every one arrayed;

Dwelling in everlasting light,

And joys that never fade.

Singing, Glory, glory.

What brought them to that world above?

That heaven so bright and fair,

Where all is peace, and joy, and love;

How came those children there?

Singing, Glory, glory.

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p. 92

Because the Savior shed his blood,

To wash away their sin;

Bathed in that pure and precious flood,

Behold them white and clean.

Singing, Glory, glory.

MATERNAL GRIEF.

Departed child! I could forget thee once,

Though at my bosom nursed; this woful gain

Thy dissolution brings, that in my soul

Is present, and perpetually abides,

A shadow never, never to be displaced

By the returning substance, seen or touched,—

Seen by mine eyes, or clasped in my embrace.

Absence and death, how differ they? and how

Shall I admit that nothing can restore

What one short sigh so easily removed?

Death, life, and sleep, reality and thought,

Assist me, God, their boundaries to know,

Or teach me calm submission to thy will.

Wordsworth.

DOUBLE BEREAVEMENT.

With sudden stroke

The blooming infant faded and expired,

And soon its lovely sister, doubly dear

Now in their grief, was in like manner torn

From their united grasp. With patience far

Beyond her years, the little sufferer bore

Her sharp distemper, while she could behold

Both parents by her side; but when from sleep,

Transient and troubled, waking, wept aloud,

As terrified, if either were not there;

To hear their voices singing of the love

Of her Redeemer, in her favorite hymn,

And praying for his mercy, oft she asked

With eagerness, and seemed the while at ease.

When came the final struggle, with the look

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p. 93

Of a grieved child, and with its mournful cry,

But still with something of her wonted tone

Of confidence in danger, as for help,

She called on them, on both alternately,

As if by turns expecting that relief

From each other had grown slow to yield;

At which their calmness, undisturbed till then,

Gave way to agitation, past control.

A few heart-rending moments, and her voice

Sunk to a weak and inarticulate moan,

Then in a whisper ended; and, with that,

Her features grow composed, and fixed in death!

At sight of which, their lost tranquility

At once returned. ’T was evening, and the lamp,

Set near, shone full upon her placid face,

Its snowy white illuming, while they stood

Gazing, as on her loveliness in sleep;

The enfeebled mother on the father’s arm

Heavily leaning, like the slender flower

On its firm prop, when loaded down with rain,

Or morning dew.

Carlos Wilcox.

DEATH OF A MOTHER AND THREE DAUGHTERS.

Together side by side they sleep, beneath the church-yard sod,

Above them lightly rests the turf, their feet so soft have trod;

They heed no more the piercing blast, that sweeps their lowly bed,

The driving tempest reaches not the cold and senseless dead[.]

They were a happy family, beloved by all around,

While yet the purest, deepest love, at their own hearth was found.

They to each suffering child of earth their willing aid would lend,

And many lone one found, in them, Heaven’s richest boon—a friend.

And thus they lived; in harmony and peace their days were passed;

But happiness on this side heaven, may not forever last;

And though man live for many years, rejoicing in them all,

Full many days of suffering must to his portion fall.

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p. 94

The mother watched beside the bed whereon her children lay,

Stood o’er them when the spirit left its tenement of clay;

She had been tried: and still had said, “Thy will be done, O Lord,”

And now she was not left to mourn, but went to her reward.

Their bodies moulder side by side, beneath the church-yard sod,

While in a heavenly paradise their spirits rest with God;

And in the hearts of those on earth, to whom they once were dear,

Their memory lives; and on their graves shall fall affection’s tear.

O! murmur not, ye sorrowing friends—go in the stilly night,

And as you view the starry heavens all bathed in mellow light,—

Think that you hear the gentle tones of those whose griefs are o’er,

Saying, “Mourn not, friends, as for the lost, we are but gone before.”

Weep on; your Lord and Master wept, for a beloved friend,

But with the tears by sorrow wrung, let resignation blend;

And follow in the steps of Him to whom their hearts were given,

That you may meet, when life is o’er, a family in heaven.

LITTLE IDA MAY.

“With but an hour of labor light,

And hire for all the day.”

’T was winter when she came to us—

A chill was in the air,

The snow drift piled the ground, like waves,

The trees were brown and bare;

Earth’s glorious beauties lay concealed

Beneath that white array;

’T was winter when she came to us—

Little Ida May.

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p. 95

It was as if a bud of June

Had opened in december;

It was as if a brilliant spark

Flashed from a dying ember;

It was as if a sunbeam glanced

Upon a child in prison;

It was as when a star peeps out

Before the moon hath risen;

It was as if a robin came

To whistle near the door,

Long after Spring had passed away,

And Summer’s reign was o’er;

For all we knew or hoped of joy

Was grouped around the day

When she appeared to bless our home—

Little Ida May.

Again the snows of winter fell,

Again the earth was white—

White with the stainless flakes that dropped

Throughout the silent night:

We slept and dreamed—nor knew that grief

Would greet us with the day;

But morning came and she had passed—

Little Ida May.

’T was winter when she came to us—

’T was winter when she left;

Since she could tarry but an hour,

Why was she ever sent?

There is a winter in our hearts

No spring can chase away!

’T was winter when she came and went—

Little Ida May!

Anson G. Chester.

THE INFANT’S HOME.
OCCASIONED BY THE DEATH OF TWIN CHILDREN.
[SEE FRONTISPIECE.]

Where are ye now, sweet fair?

Vacant is now your cradled place of rest;

Ye slumber not upon a mother’s breast,

Where is your home? oh, where?

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p. 96

How beautiful ye were!

With your meek, peaceful brows, and laughing eyes,

All eloquent of life’s first energies,

And joy’s bright fount yet clear.

I looked upon you then

With thoughts almost of sorrow in my gaze,

As on a passing joy, which other days

Would make not mine again.

I feared some change might sweep

Through the untroubled breast, and leave its stain,

Some unsuspected ill—some bitter pain—

Mar, with sad dreams, your sleep.

I know that change has past

O’er you, sweet nurslings! but I know

Your spirits now will never taste of woe—

That change will be the last.

Ye are before me now,

As ye were wont to be—no beauty gone

That in those eyes, even when tearful shone,

No charm from that pure brow.

Too calm, too deeply still

Is that unchanging picture; yet a part

Of the sweet visions of the past, my heart

Can make its own at will.

And thus ye are mine own,

Mine own to dwell upon, with quiet love;

Thoughts the world cannot touch, nor time remove,

From me ye are not gone.

I ask not where are laid

Those faded forms—whether below the sod

Which busy feet have with indifference trod,

Or ’neath some kindly shade.

He who mankind shall wake,

Over his children’s rest a watch doth keep,

And with a voice that breathes of love, the sleep

Of innocence will break.

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p. 97

Not in that simple tomb,

But in “our Father’s house”—where love shall be

Abiding, even in its own sanctuary—

There is the infant’s home!

MEMORY OF THE DEAD.

Forget them not! though now their names

Be but a mournful sound,

Though by the hearth its utterance claim

A stillness round.

Though for their sake this earth no more

As it hath been may be,

And shadows, never marked before,

Brood o’er each tree.

And though their image dim the sky,

Yet, yet, forget them not!

Nor when their love and life went by

Forsake the spot!

They have a breathing influence there,

A charm not elsewhere found;

Sad, yet it sanctifies the air,

The stream, the ground.

Then, though the wind an altered tone

Through the young foliage bear,

Though every flower of something gone

A tinge may wear,—

O, fly it not! No fruitless grief

Thus in their presence felt,

A record links to every leaf,

There, where they dwelt.

Still trace the path which knew their tread,

Still tend their garden bower,

Still commune with the holy dead,

In each lone hour.

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p. 98

The holy dead!—O blest we are,

That we may call them so,

And to their image look afar,

Through all our woe!

Blest that the things they loved on earth

As relics we may hold,

That wake sweet thoughts of parted worth,

By springs untold!

Blest that a deep and chastening power

Thus to our souls are given,

If but to bird, or song, or flower,

Yet all for heaven.

Mrs. Hemans.

TO WILLIE IN HEAVEN.

Thou cam’st like a dove from the land of the blest,

To tell us of love in that heaven of rest;

But the dust of this earth would have sullied thy wing,

If thou longer had’st tarried, thou beautiful thing!

Thou blest little teacher the Father sent forth,

To tell us how simple and plain was the truth,

What message was thine, how sublimely ’t was taught!

It came not in language, it uttered no thought.

’T was thy unconscious meekness, thy unshaken trust,

Thy cherub-like purity dwelling in dust;

What blessed revealings thou gavest of mind

When simple and child-like to God ’t is resigned!

We miss thy bright presence, we pine for thy smile,

But we know ’tis still beaming unseen for awhile,

And when death breaks the fetters and sets the soul free,

’T will gleam a bright welcome to heaven and thee.

And thy voice,—how we longed its sweet accents to hear,

Its infantile prattle, its first “Mother dear!”—

But never, no never! for earth ’t was not given,

’T was strung and is tuned now a minstrel in heaven.

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p. 99

Still warble, my cherub, still pour forth thy praise;

Though I see not, I hear thee, I catch thy sweet lays,

When my heart will be still, and my spirit away,

And faith bears me on to a glorious day.

ALL’S WELL.

The clouds, which rise with thunder, slake

Our thirsty souls with rain;

The blow most dreaded falls to break

From off our limbs a chain;

And wrongs of man to man but make

The love of God more plain.

As through the shadowy lens of even

The eye looks farther into heaven,

In gleams of star and depths of blue

The glaring sunshine never knew.

Whittier.

NOT HERE, BUT RISEN.

In every great and generous thought,

In every throb of sympathy,

Our hearts are drawn more near to heaven,

Where live the friends we long to see;

And closer bonds our souls entwine

Of love, renewed by life divine.

Then seek them not ’mid clouds and gloom,

Or tears that dim the feeble light;

But strive, though with a faltering wing,

To follow in their path of light:

Grief is of time, but hope a joy,

Nor time nor death can e’er destroy.

Then faint not in the “march of life,”

Nor hang thy drooping eyelids more;

’T is hope, ’t is faith, ’t is truth in God,

That will the lost again restore:

Would we with them in union blend,

Our souls must rise, not theirs descend.

Susan Jewett.

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p. 100

DEATH OF WILLIE E. WHEELER.

“What thou knowest not now, thou shalt know hereafter.”

His golden curls of sunny hair

Had faded day by day:

The happy smile he used to wear

Had long since passed away;

And on his pale yet lovely brow,

The smooth thin locks had lain,

And a look of patient suffering

He wore amid his pain.

The kind physician’s skill and care

To him had been applied,

A mother, in her earnest love,

Was ever at his side;

And friends in tender sympathy

The nightly vigil kept

Beside the sleepless sufferer,

To watch while others slept.

And oft beside his little bed,

Was heard the pastor’s prayer;

“Father, thy will be done,” he said,

“But if thou canst, O! spare!”

Yet still he faded like a flower

Chilled by the early frost,

And wasted slowly, hour by hour;

Till every hope was lost.

Now in the dust he’s lying,

Beneath the cold, green sod,

Released, his weary spirit,

Has found its rest with God,

And dost thou ask, fond parent,

Why should he suffer so,

And why should one so cherished

Thus early be laid low?

God’s ways in clouds and darkness

Are oft from us concealed,

But hidden now, hereafter

They ’ll doubtless be revealed,

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p. 101

Then let it soothe thine anguish,

The thought that God knows best,

And leave thy precious Willie,

In Jesus’ arms to rest.

Mrs. A. Mather.

[William Ephraim Wheeler was the brother of Harriet Lincoln Wheeler, wife of William Chalmers Whitcomb; Willie was born in 1844 and died in 1846; he was buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Massachusetts. (See record at Find a Grave: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/137565214)]

DEATH OF AN ONLY DAUGHTER.

“I cannot feel that she is dead!”

With arms about me flung,

Like some bright jewel round my neck

But yesterday she hung.

I cannot feel that she is dead!

And oft, with throbbing ear

I list, to catch her shout of mirth,

I loved so well to hear.

I cannot feel that she is dead!

And at her cradle side,

I bend to watch her gentle breath—

My blessing and my pride.

I cannot feel that she is dead!

This ringlet is as fair,

As when upon her sunny brow

It fell in beauty there.

I cannot feel that she is dead!

Her shadow passes by,

In every form of grace that glides

Before my wakeful eye.

And when I sleep, a vision bright

Across my fancy steals,

The smile, the tone, the look of love

My early lost reveals.

Once more her fairy foot I hear

Tread lightly on the stair,

And I almost answer to the call,

Breathed from those lips of air.

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p. 102

The rose still blooms she fondly nursed,

In spring’s soft vernal hours;

Alas, that she should soonest fade,

The fairest of the flowers.

Yet, mother, thou thy child be dead,

light through thy darkness streams,

As on the ear a low voice falls,

Like music in our dreams.

To soothe thy sadness, quell thy grief,

And check thy tears, ’t is given,

While thus it whispers—“I have found

A better home in heaven,

And, loved ones, as ye watched o’er me,

And chased away my fears,

’T is mine your spirit-guard to be

Through this dark vale of tears.

To shield from sorrow, save from ill,

And fix your hopes above,

’T is this shall be my task of joy,

My ceaseless work of love.

Till in the realms of cloudless light,

The pure, blest spirit-land,

Where no sad thought of parting comes,

You join our seraph band.”

Mrs. A. L. Angier.

LITTLE TRAVELERS.

Little travelers, Zionward,

Each one entering into rest,

In the kingdom of your Lord,

In the mansions of the blest;

There, to welcome, Jesus waits,

Gives the crowns his followers win—

Lift your heads, ye golden gates!

Let the little travelers in.

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p. 103

Who are they whose little feet,

Pacing life’s dark journey through

Now have reached that heavenly seat,

They had ever kept in view?

“I, from Greenland’s frozen land,

I, from India’s sultry plain;

I, from Afric’s barren sand,

I, from islands of the main:

All our earthly journey past,

Every tear and pain gone by,

Here together met at last,

At the portal of the sky!

Each the welcome Come! awaits,

Conquerors o’er death and sin!”

Lift your heads, ye golden gates!

Let the little travelers in!

Edmeston.

THE LOVED AND LOST.

Come to my heart again, ye long departed,

Come, fill the vacant places at our hearth:

Vainly for you the bitter tears have started,

Since ye forsook for heaven the haunts of earth,

Vainly, ye lost, we yearn for your caressing,

And ask the tender tones which once we heard;

On the still air there comes no whispered blessing;

Mute is each lip, and lost each loving word.

Do you still love me, in that far-off heaven?

Or are you near me, on your spirit wings?

Beloved, beloved, I cannot deem it riven,

That holy tie to which my heart yet clings:

Have you not seen the tears, which like a river,

Swelled to the flood-gates of my breaking heart?

Oh, say not you are lost to me forever—

We have been linked too fondly thus to part.

Hark! on mine ear seraphic notes are ringing!

Your voices, loved ones, mingle in the lay;

Ye join the hymns which angel-choirs are singing;

But mid your songs, methinks I hear you say,—

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p. 104

“There is no darkness here, the clouds are riven,

The veil is lifted from our earthly eyes;

Would’st thou recall us from the light of heaven,

And all the ceaseless joys of Paradise?”

No! no! let mortal vision greet ye never;

Silence thy yearning, oh repining heart!

Bliss, bliss unending, ye have gained forever,

No more in earthly sorrow to have part;

Joy for the free and blessed! all unheeding

The world, its fleeting pleasures or its care;

Onward, my soul, be then thine eager speeding,

To those pure realms, and join thy lost ones there.

Mary N. McDonald.

EARLY LOST, EARLY SAVED.

Within her downy cradle there lay a little child,

And a group of hovering angels unseen upon her smiled;

A strife arose among them, a loving, holy strife,

Which should shed the richest blessing over the new-born life.

One breathed upon her features, and the babe in beauty grew,

With a cheek like morning’s blushes, and an eye of azure hue;

Till every one who saw her was thankful for the sight

Of a face so sweet and radiant with ever-fresh delight.

Another gave her accents and a voice as musical

As a spring-bird’s joyous carol, or a rippling streamlet’s fall;

Till all who heard her laughing, or her words of childish grace,

Loved as much to listen to her, as to look upon her face.

Another brought from heaven a clear and gentle mind,

And within the lovely casket the precious gem enshrined;

Till all who knew her wondered that God should be so good

As to bless with such a spirit our desert world and rude.

Thus did she grow in beauty, in melody, and truth,

The budding of her childhood just opening into youth,

And to our hearts yet dearer every moment than before

She became, though we thought fondly heart could not love her more.

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p. 105

Then outspoke another angel, nobler, brighter than the rest,

As with strong arm, but tender, he caught her to his breast—

“Ye have made her all too lovely for a child of mortal race,

But no shade of human sorrow shall darken o’er her face.

Ye have tuned to gladness only the accents of her tongue,

And no wail of human anguish shall from her lips be wrung;

Nor shall the soul that shineth so purely from within

Her form of earth-born frailty e’er know the taint of sin.

Lulled in my faithful bosom, I will bear her far away,

Where there is nor sin, nor anguish, nor sorrow, nor decay:

And mine a boon more glorious than all the gifts shall be,

Lo! I crown her happy spirit with immortality.”

Then on his heart our darling yielded up her gentle breath,

For the stronger, brighter angel, who loved her best, was Death.

BE OF GOOD CHEER.

When through the deep waters God calls thee to go,

The rivers of sorrow shall ne’er overflow;

His presence shall guide thee, his mercy shall bless,

And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathway is laid,

His grace all-sufficient will lend thee its aid;

The flame shall not hurt thee; he does but design

Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

“IN HEAVEN,” SHE CRIED.

She wrapped him in a little shroud,

Her first-born and her last;

Her soul with heavy grief was bowed,

Her tears were falling fast;

While ever and anon she pressed

The icy burden to her breast;

As murmuring soft, “In heaven,” she cried,

“The mother meets her seraph child.”

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p. 106

Below, deep in the flowery sod,

A little grave was made,

Its very turf his feet had trod,

For there he oft had played;

How felt that mother, as she gave

His play-ground for her darling’s grave!

Then murmuring soft, “In heaven,” she cried,

“The mother meets her seraph child.”

Her hand was firm, her cheek was pale,

But blenched not with despair;

And sorrow only winged the wail

That rent the troubled air;

For ’t was but dust she gave the sod,

The gem she cherished was with God,

And murmuring soft, “In heaven,” she cried,

“The mother meets her seraph child.”

She scattered rose-buds on the spot,

And lilies pure as snow,

Then turned and sought her childless cot,

But spake not of her woe;

“In heaven,” she cried, and sweetly smiled,

“The mother meets her seraph child.”

Then murmuring soft, “In heaven,” she cried,

“The mother meets her seraph child.”

TO WILLIAM.

It seems but yesterday, my love, thy little heart beat high,

And I had almost scorned the voice that told me thou must die,

I saw thee move with active bounds; with spirit wild and free,

And infant grace and beauty gave their glorious charms to thee.

Was mine a happiness too pure for erring man to know?

Or why did heaven so soon destroy my paradise below?

Enchanting as the vision was, it sunk away as soon

As when, in quick and cold eclipse, the sun grows dark and dim.

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p. 107

I loved thee, and my heart was blest; but ere that day was spent,

I saw thy light and graceful form in drooping illness bent,

And shuddered as I cast a look upon thy fainting head,

The mournful cloud was gathering there, and life was almost fled.

And when I could not keep the tear from gathering in my eye,

Thy little hand pressed mind in token of reply;

To ask one more exchange of love, thy look was upward cast,

And in that long and burning kiss thy happy spirit passed.

I never trusted to have lived to bid farewell to thee,

And almost said in agony, it ought not so to be;

I hoped that thou within the grave my weary head shouldst lay,

And live, beloved, when I was gone, for many a happy day.

Ah! I am sad and weary now, but let me not repine,

Because a spirit, loved so well, is earlier blessed than mine;

My faith may darken as it will, I shall not much deplore,

Since thou art where the ills of life can never reach thee more.

W. B. O. Peabody.

OUR LOSS—HER GAIN.

Well done of God, to halve the lot

And give her all the sweetness!

To us, the empty room and cot;

To her, the heaven’s completeness!

To us, the grave, to her, the groves

The mystic palm-trees spring in;

To us, the silence in the house;

To her, the choral singing!

TO A SISTER IN HEAVEN.

Oh, I remember well the time when thou,

A little child, first lisped thy evening prayer.

Then I was wont to kneel beside thy cot,

And plead for blessings on thine infant head;

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p. 108

And when I’d kissed thy cheek, and wished for thee

A night of pleasant sleep, and joyful morn,

How oft upon my ear thine accents fell,

Plaintive and sweet as is the voice of birds,—

“Come back, dear sister, for a moment come,

And tell me more of that dear Savior’s love;

Teach me to shun the dark and dreadful world,

Where wicked spirits dwell in guilt and shame;

And talk to me of heaven, where Jesus is!”

And often now, in fancy, do I see

Thee on thy bed of languishing and death.

I see thee stretch thy weak and wasted arms,

To clasp thine infant sister; hear thee say,

“Dear mother, give the baby Sarah’s name;”

I see thee raise thy glazing eye to heaven,

And hear thee lisp thy simple, dying prayer.

But oh! ’t is fancy all, I was not there

To hear the gentle pleadings of thy voice,

To smooth thy dying pillow, and to claim

Thy last fond look of love. I was not there

To soothe thy father’s grief, and wipe the tear

From the mild eye of her who gave us birth.

Alas! in sorrow’s hour, they looked in vain

For me, their eldest born; but still I know

They were not all alone. Jesus was there!

Upon his breast my brother leaned his head;

His blessed presence softened every grief;

My parents wept, but his kind, soothing hand

Wiped from their eyes the tear, and all was well.

Sarah B. Judson.

THE CURL OF GOLDEN HAIR.

I have a little treasure, more beautiful to me

Than aught of gold or silver, or the brightest gems I see;

’T is not a costly jewel, in casket rich and fine—

Nor yet a thing of value to other hearts than mine.

And still I deem it priceless, more precious far than gold;

More beautiful and lovely than earthly gems all told.

’T is not in iron coffers my treasure safe I keep,

And though it’s prized so highly, I often o’er it weep.

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p. 109

In a closely-folded paper, and laid away with care,

Lies a little sunny ringlet—a curl of golden hair,

With beauty once it shaded a fair and lovely brow;

And though long years have wasted, methinks I see it now.

How oft my fingers pressed it, and twined it o’er and o’er;

All wet with tears of anguish, such tears can flow no more—

For the angels came and called him to live with them above,

While my heart was all o’erflowing with a mother’s earliest love.

Then, O! how sad and lonely was everything to me;

His playthings all were gathered, for those I could not see;

We put away his cradle, with his little cushioned chair,

And my heart, like them, was vacant, for hope had withered there.

In the dark cold grave we laid him, where the weeping willows bow;

And of him this precious relic is all that’s left me now,

Is it strange that I should love it, and guard it well with care,

This little glossy ringlet, this curl of golden hair?

IRISH MOTHER’S LAMENT.

Oh! why did you go when the flowers were springing,

And winter’s wild tempest had vanished away,

When the swallow was come, and the sweet lark was singing,

From the morn to the eve of the beautiful day?

Oh! why did you go when the summer was coming,

And the heaven was blue as your own sunny eye;

When the bee on the blossom was drowsily humming,

Mavourneen! mavourneen! oh, why did you die?

My hot tears are falling in agony o’er you,

My heart was bound up in the life that is gone;

Oh! why did you go from the mother that bore you,

Achora! macushia! why leave me alone?

The primrose each hedgerow and dingle is studding;

The violet’s breath is on each breeze’s sigh,

And the woodbine you loved round your window is budding

Oh! Maura, mavourneen, why, why did you die?

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p. 110

When the bright silent stars through my window are beaming’ [sic]

I dream in my madness that you ’re by my side,

With your long golden curls on your white shoulders streaming,

And the smile that came warm from your loving heart’s tide,

I hear your sweet voice fitful melodies singing;

I wake but to hear the low wind’s whispered sigh,

And your vanishing tones through my silent home ringing,

As I cry in my anguish—Oh! why did you die?

Achora, machree, you are ever before me—

I scarce see the heavens to which you are gone,

So dark are the clouds of despair which lie o’er me,

Oh! pray for me, pray at the mighty One’s throne!

Oh plead that the chain of my bondage may sever,

That to thee and our Father my greed soul may fly,

Or the cry of my spirit forever and ever,

Shall be, “Oh, mavourneen, why, why did you die/”

THE WORDS THAT LUCY SUNG.

A little child, six summers old, so thoughtful so fair,

[T]here seemed about her pleasant ways a more than childish air,

Was sitting, on a summer eve, beneath a spreading tree,

Intent upon an ancient book which lay upon her knee,

She turned each page with careful hand, and strained her sight to see,

Until the drowsy shadows crept upon the grassy lea:

Then closed the book, and upward looked, and straight began to sing

A simple verse of hopeful love—this very childish thing:

“While here below, how sweet o know

His wondrous love and story,

And then, through grace, to see His face,

And live with him in glory!”

That little child, one dreary night of winter wind and storm,

Was tossing on a weary couch her weak and wasted form;

And in her pain, and in her pause, but clasped her hands in prayer,

Strange we had no thoughts of heaven, when hers were only there—

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p. 111

Until she said, “O, mother dear, how sad you seem to be!

Have you forgotten that He said, “Let children come to me.

Dear mother, bring the blessed book, come mother, let us sing.”

And then again, with faltering tongue, she sang the childish thing:

“While here below, how sweet o know

His wondrous love and story,

And then, through grace, to see His face,

And live with him in glory!”

Underneath a spreading tree a narrow mound is seen,

Which first was covered by the snow, then blossomed into green;

Here once I heard that childish voice, that sings on earth no more,

In heaven it has a richer tone, and sweeter than before;

For those who know His love below—so runs the wondrous story—

In heaven, “through grace, shall see His face, and dwell with Him in glory!”

THE LILY.

Some, a similitude to childhood see,

In vines which cling to a deep-rooted tree;

Some, in the rosebud infancy perceive,

The bloom of beauty ushered from its leaves,

The vine a serpent’s covert may enclose,

And thorns, deep piercing, lie beneath the rose.

She was the lily, type of purity,

Swept by death’s tide to glory’s waveless sea,

And then replanted by an angel hand,

Bloomed in the gardens of the upper land.

John J. Morris.

EXTRACT.

I seem to see three cherub babes,

As hand in hand they go,

With golden curls and snowy sings,

Whose eyes with rapture glow.

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p. 112

When I was young, I called them mine,

Now Heaven’s sweet ones are they;

But I shall claim my own again,

When I am called away.

Perhaps, when heaven’s bright gates I’ve passed,

They’ll know from every other,

The one who gave them back to God,

And haste to call me mother.

I SEE THEE STILL!.

Remembrance, faithful to her trust,

Calls thee in beauty from the dust;

Thou comest in the morning light,

Thou ’rt with me through the gloomy night,

In dreams I meet thee as of old;

Then thy soft arms my neck enfold,

And thy sweet voice is in my ear,

In every scene of memory dear.

I see thee still.

I see thee still;

Thou art not in the grave confined—

Death cannot chain the immortal mind;

Let earth close o’er its sacred trust,

But goodness dies not in the dust,

Thee, O my daughter! ’t is not thee

Beneath the coffin’s lid I see;

Thou to a fairer land art gone,

There, let me hope, my journey done,

To see thee still.

Charles Sprague.

WE WILL NOT MURMUR.

We have known sorrow—Death hath rudely taken

The fairest buds from off our household tree;

To the full bloom of beauty just awaking,

They were to all a pleasant sight to see.

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p. 113

We miss the arms that used to twine so fondly,

Around our necks to claim the “good night” kis—

The morning call, “Take, take, mamma,” so kindly!

The pattering sound of feet—all these we miss!

If we are lonely, God forgive the feeling—

The human heart must have whereto to cling—

Our idol worship, these sad strokes revealing,

Our bruised affections now to thee we bring.

We will not murmur—but to Thee, Most Holy,

We bow, submissive to thy perfect will:

Thou knowest the path by which the meek and lowly

May come at last to the celestial hill.

In that blest state, of which we catch a glimmer,

When earthly passions by thy grace are stilled—

In that bright world of long eternal summer,

The restless soul shall find its bliss fulfilled.

Mrs. D. G. Foss.

THE LAST GOOD NIGHT.

Close her eye-lids—press them gently

O’er the dim and leaden eyes,

For the soul that made them lovely,

Hath returned unto the skies.

Wipe the death-drops from her forehead,

Sever one dear golden tress,

Fold her icy hands all meekly,

Smooth the snowy little dress;

Scatter flowers o’er her pillow—

Gentle flowers, so pure and white—

Lay this bud upon her bosom;

There—now softly say, Good night!

Though our tears flow fast and faster,

Yet we would not call her back,

We are glad her feet no longer

Tread life’s rough and stormy track;

We are glad our Heavenly Father

Took her while her heart was pure,

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p. 114

We are glad he did not leave her

All life’s trials to endure;

We are glad—and yet the tear-drop

Falleth; for alas! we know

That our fireside will be lonely,

We shall miss our darling so.

While the twilight shadows gather,

We shall wait in vain to feel

Little arms, all white and dimpled,

Round our necks so softly steal;

Our wet cheeks will miss the pressure,

Of sweet lips so warm and red,

And our bosoms, sadly, sadly

Miss that darling little head

Which was wont to rest there sweetly,

And those gentle eyes so bright,

We shall miss their loving glances

We shall miss their soft Good night!

When the morro’s sun is shining,

They will take this cherished form,

They will bear it to the church-yard,

And consign it to the worm;

Well—what matter? It is only

The clay dress our darling wore;

God hath robed her as an angel,

She hath need of this no more;

Fold her hands, and o’er her pillows

Scatter flowers, all pure and white,

Kiss that marble brow, and whisper,

Once again, a last Good night!

PASSING UNDER THE ROD.

I saw a fond father and mother who leaned

On the arms of a dear gifted son,

And the star in the future grew bright to their gaze,

As they saw the proud place he had won:

And the fast coming evening of life promised fair,

And its pathway grew smooth to their feet,

And the starlight of love glimmered bright at the end,

And the whispers of fancy were sweet.

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p. 115

But I saw them again, bending low o’er the grave,

Where their heart’s dearest hope had been laid,

And the star had gone down in the darkness of night,

And the joy from their bosoms had fled,

But the Healer was there, and his arms were around,

And he led them with tenderest care,

And he showed them a star in the bright upper world,

’T was their star shining brilliantly there!

They had each heard a voice—’t was the voice of their God,

“I love thee—I love thee—pass under the rod!

LAMENT.

Far in that dark and silent land,

Where pulses rest, and hearts are cold,

Deep coffined in the sunless mould,

We, tearful, lone, and sorrowing stand,

And lift our aching hearts to God,

While to our trembling lips we press,

The brimming cup of bitterness,

And bend beneath the heavy rod;

And make lament—Rest spirit, rest?

Thy spring hath reached its autumn soon,

Full soon thy day-spring found its noon,

And twilight gathered in the west.

Rest, gently rest! and loving earth

Will fold thee in her calm embrace,

And flowers above thy resting-place,

Shall wait for thy resplendent birth.

Rest, loved one, rest! we fell, we know,

That earth is poorer than the skies;

Nor could we tempt thee from the prize

That glitters on thy radiant brow.

Nor henceforth dread the gloomy shore,

Thy feet have pressed, and in the race

Of life we run with quicker pace,

For heaven lies nearer than before.

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p. 116

Dark Jordan’s flood we fear no more,

For joy is strangely blent with woe,

We thirst to know what angels know,

And heaven seems dearer than before.

George T. Rider.

I AM THY FRIEND.

While in the desert lonely I roam,

Fainting and weary, longing for home,

Thou with thy presence, say, “Hope to the end,

I will sustain thee,

I am thy friend.”

Closer than brother, cleave thou to me,

Truer than mother, deign thou to be,

Pardon my vileness—thy mercy extend,

O, thou long-sufferer,

Be thou my friend.

When earthly cisterns no water hold,

When friendship withers, love waxes cold,

When o’er reeds broken mourning I bend,

Whisper my lone heart,

“I am thy friend.”

And when to Jordan’s wave I draw near,

Hold thou my hand, say, “Peace, do not fear,

Floods shall not whelm thee, storms shall not rend,

Death shall not harm thee,

I am thy friend.”

TO A MOTHER BEREAVED.

O mourn not, fond mother, the joys that depart,

There is comfort and peace for the stricken in heart;

God has taken the spirit that basked in thy love,

“The beautiful angels” have borne it above.

The plant that you reared to smile on earth’s gloom,

Has fastened its roots in the soil of the tomb;

It smiled in your garden, so bright and so fair,

It has climbed o’er the wall, and is blossoming there.

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The gem that you wore with pride on your breast,

Adorns with its light the land of the blest;

The rose still is fragrant, though broke from the stem,

The setting is ruined, but safe is the gem.

Then gird thee to labor, to trial and love,

The treasure once thine shall await thee above;

Be faithful, be earnest, night soon will be riven,

And the lost ones of earth, be thy jewels in heaven.

Rev. S. F. Smith.

REMEMBRANCE OF THE DEAD.

We know the spot where lie

Our sleeping dead—but where

Is that which cannot die—

The soul? Lord is it there?

The carrier pigeon brings

A message ’neath his wings,

From India’s distant shore;

Sails pass from place to place,

But from its narrow space,

The soul returns no more.

The infant at the breast,

From its mother’s bosom torn,

To its icy bed of rest,

From its little cradle borne!

All that we loved and mourn,

Who to that silent bourne,

Bear away part of us,

From the dust murmuring cry—

Ye who behold the sky,

Do ye still remember us?

Lamartine.

A DIRGE.

Chant a dirge tearfully,

For our lost friend;

God takes so fearfully

That he doth lend:

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p. 118

In chaplets gracefully

Memories weave,

She hath so peacefully

Left us to wreath.

Mourn not her youthfulness

Perishing here,

For love and truthfulness

Cast our her fear;

Mourn not, thou mother,

The early grave given,

For she won, through another,

The earlier heaven.

Death comes scarce welcomely

To the young heart,

He bears him so gloomily

Doing his part;

He weaves such dark fearfulness

Round our dim sight,

We shrink with tearfulness

Back to life’s light.

Bearing us carefully

By life’s frail way,

O, may we prayerfully

Watch out each day;

That when our frames breathlessly

To earth are given,

We may, with her, deathlessly

Sit too in heaven.

I. B. Woodbury.

OVER THERE.

“No more separating evers,

No more desolating nevers.”

Holy with a consecration,

From all tears and tribulation,

From all crime, and grief and care,

To all uses good and fair.

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Always brooding warm and olden

Sleeps the shimmer, mellow golden

Over there.

Never blighting shadow passes

O’er the silky star-eyed grasses,

Over there.

Pine trees swing their odory chime,

Palm trees lift their plumy prime,

In the ever Eden time,

Over there.

All the heavenly creatures born

Of the breeze, the dew, the morn,

Still divinelier breathe and blow,

Drape their purple, drift their snow,

Quaff their crimson, sheen their gold,

Throb their odors manifold

On the palpitating air,

On the bleak impulsing air,

Over there.

SUBMISSION IN TRIALS.

When I can trust my all with God,

In trial’s fearful hour—

Bow all-resigned beneath his rod,

And bless his sparing power;—

A joy springs up amid distress,—

A fountain in the wilderness.

Oh! to be brought to Jesus’ feet,

Though trials fix me there,

Is still a privilege most sweet;

For he will hear my prayer:

Though sighs and tears its language be,

The Lord is nigh to answer me.

Then, blessed be the hand that gave,

Still blessed when it takes,

Blessed be he who smiles to save,

Who heals the heart he breaks:

Perfect and true are all his ways,

Whom heaven adores and death obeys.

Conder.

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p. 120

THE TRUE SOLACE.

O thou who driest the mourner’s tear,

How dark this world would be

If, when by sorrows wounded here,

We could not fly to thee.

The friends who in our sunshine live,

When winter comes, are flown;

And he who has but tears to give,

May weep those tears alone.

But Christ can heal that broken heart,

Which, like the plants that throw

Their fragrance from the wounded part,

Breathes sweetness out of woe.

Oh! who could bear life’s stormy doom,

Did not thy wing of love

Come brightly wafting through the gloom,

Our peace-branch from above.

Then sorrow, touched by thee, grows bright

With more than rapture’s ray!

As darkness shows us worlds of light

We never saw by day.

LEAD THOU ME ON!.

Send kindly light amid the encircling gloom,

And lead me on!

The night is dark and I am far from home:

Lead thou me on!

Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see

The distant scene: one step’s enough for me.

So long thy power hath blessed me, surely still

’T will lead me on

Through weary doubt, through pain and sorrow, till

The night is gone,

And with the morn those angel-faces smile

Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

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THE BLEST ONES AT HOME.

Away on the banks of life’s bright river,

Far, far away,

There will my heart be turning ever;

There ’s where the blest ones stay.

All through this vale of sin and sorrow

Sadly I roam,

Still longing for the dawn of the morrow,

And for the blessed ones at home.

All without is dark and dreary,

Every where I roam;

Oh, brothers, how my heart grows weary,

Sighing for the blest ones at home.

One hour there is ever bringing

Memories of love;

’T was when my sighs werre changed to singing

Of the blest ones above.

When shall I see my Savior reigning

On his white throne?

When will be hushed my heart’s complaining?

There with the blest ones at home.

All till then is dark and dreary,

Every where I roam;

Oh, brothers, how my heart grows eary,

Sighing for the blest ones at home.

RECOGNITION IN HEAVEN.

I have heard you say,

That we shall see and know our friends in heaven.

If that be true, I shall see my boy again!

Shakspeare.

I look to recognize again, through the beautiful mask of their perfection,

The dear familiar faces I have somewhile loved on earth;

I long to talk with grateful tongue of storms and perils past,

And praise the mighty pilot that hath steered us through the rapids.

Tupper.

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p. 122

Yes—if I have not sacrificed all other claims to thine,

Surrendered with a selfish love, because that thou wert mine,

I still may hope to feel that bliss within my soul revive,

Which never in this yearning heart, will languish while I live;

May hear thy unforgotten voice join the archangel’s song,

And know my own beloved one, amidst a holy throng,

May see thee, by the light that breaks the shadows of the tomb,

A portion of my happiness in the bright world to come.

YIELDING TO JESUS.

My stricken heart to Jesus yields

Love’s deep devotion now,

Adores and blesses—while it bleeds—

His hand that strikes the blow,

Then fare thee well—a little while—

Life’s troubled dream is past;

And I shall meet with thee, my child,

In life—in bliss, at last!

SWEET TO DIE.

O! it is sweet to die,—to part from earth,—

And win all heaven for things of idle worth;

Then sure thou wouldst not, though thou couldst awake

The little slumberer, for its mother’s sake.

It is when those we love in death depart,

That earth has slightest hold upon the heart.

Hath not bereavement higher wishes taught,

And purified from earth thine earth-born thought?

I know it hath. Hope then appears more dear,

And heaven’s bright realms shine brightest through a tear.

Though it be hard to bid thy heart divide,

And lay the gem of all thy love aside—

Faith tells thee, and it tells thee not in vain,

That thou shalt meet thine infant yet again.

On seraph wings the new-born spirit flies.

To brighter regions and serener skies;

And ere thou art aware the day may be,

When to those skies thy babe shall welcome thee.

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p. 123

THE USE.

Our dying friends come o’er us like a cloud

To damp our brainless ardors; and abate

That glare of life, which often blinds the wise.

Our dying friends are pioneers, to smooth

Our rugged path to death, to break those bars

Of terror and abhorence, nature throws

’Cross our obstructed way; and thus, to make

Welcome as safe, or port from every storm.

Young.

TRUST.

Thus ever in the steps of grief,

Are sown the precious seeds of joy;

Each fount of Marah hath a leaf,

Whose healing balm we may employ.

Then ’mid life’s fitful, fleeting day,

Look up! the sky is bright above!

Kind voices cheer thee on thy way!

Faint spirit! trust the God of love.

Miss A. D. Woodbridge.

LOVE.

Love born in hours of joy and mirth,

With mirth and joy may perish;

That to which darker hours gave birth,

Still more and more we cherish;

It looks beyond the clouds of time,

And through death’s shadowy portal,

Made, by adversity sublime,

By faith and hope immortal.

Bernard Barton.

A GEM.

Leaning on him, make with reverent meekness

His own, thy will;

And with strength from him shall thy utter weakness,

Life’s task fulfil;

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p. 124

And that cloud itself, which now before thee,

Lies dark in view;

Shall, with beams of light from the inner glory,

Be stricken through.

J. G. Whittier.

THY NAME BE PRAISED.

That God who binds the broken heart,

And dries the mourner’s tear,

If faith and patience be their part,

Will unto these be near.

Let such but say, “Thy will be done,”

And he who Jesus raised,

Will qualify them through the son,

To say, “Thy name be praised.”

Barton.

THE DEATH OF CHILDREN.

Sure to the mansions of the blest,

When infant innocence ascends,

Some angel brighter than the rest,

The spotless spirit’s flight attends.

That inextinguishable beam,

With dust united at our birth,

Sheds a more dim, discolored beam,

The more it lingers upon earth.

But when the Lord of mortal breath,

Decrees his bounty to resume,

And points the silent shaft of death,

Which speeds an infant to the tomb.

Then at the heavenly Father’s hand,

Nearest the throne of living light,

Behold the infant seraph stand,

And dazzling shine, where all are bright; [sic]

John Quincy Adams.

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p. 125

A STRING OF PEARLS.

’T is difficult to feel that she is dead,

Her presence, like the shadow of a wing

That is just lessening in the upper sky,

Lingers upon us.

Willis.

Amid earth’s conflict, woe, and care,

When dark our path appears,

’T is sweet to know thou canst not share

Our anguish and our tears,

That on thy head no more shall fall

The storms we may not flee,—

Yes, safely sheltered from them all,

We joy that thou art free.

When the archangel’s trump shall blow,

And souls to bodies join,

Millions shall wish their lives below

Had been as short as thine.

Babes thither caught from womb and breast,

Claim right to sing above the rest;

Because they find the happy shore

They never saw or sought before.

’T is a work

Of many a dark hour and of many a prayer,

To bring the heart back from an infant gone.

The grass above thy grave is green,

And fresh as hope was wont to be;

But never in our home, I ween,

Will joy shoot forth as cheeringly,

As erst it did, my gentle child,

When thy dear eyes upon us smiled.

To meet again in slumber

The small mouth’s rosy kiss;

Then, wakened with a start

By thine own throbbing heart,

The twining arms to miss!

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p. 126

To feel,—half conscious why,—

A dull, heart-sinking weight,

Till memory on thy soul

Flashes the painful whole,

That thou art desolate!

And oh! the home whence thy bright smile hath parted!

Alas! it seems as if the sunny day

Turned from its door away,

While through its chambeers wandering, weary-hearted,

I languish for thy voice, which past me still

Went like a singing rill.

To mark the sufferings of the babe

That cannot speak its woe,

To see the infant tears gush forth,

Yet know not why they flow,

To meet the meek, uplifted eye

That fain would seek relief,

Yet can but tell of agony—

This is a mother’s grief.

T. Dale.

But thou, the mother of so sweet a child,

Thy false imagined loss cease to lament,

And wisely strive to curb thy sorrows wild;

Think what a present thou to God has sent,

And render him with patience what he lent.

Milton.

Time hath not power to bear away

Thine image from the heart,

No scenes that mark life’s onward way

Can bid it hence depart.

Her memory still within my mind

Retains its sweetest power;

It is the perfume left behind

That whispers of the flower.

Mrs. Welby.

Thou wert a vision of delight,

To bless us given;

Beauty embodied to our sight,

A type of heaven;

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p. 127

So dear to us thou wert, thou art

Even less thine own self, than a part

Of mine and of thy mother’s heart.

D. M. Moir.

Ah, soon thy little feet have trod

The skyward path, the seraph’s road

That led thee up from earth to God.

Farewell, then, for a while, farewell,

Pride of my heart!

It cannot be that long we dwell

Thus torn apart;

Time’s shadows, like the shuttle, flee,

And dark howe’er life’s night may be,

Beyond the grave I’ll meet with thee,

My darling child.

Yes, my heart has revealings of thee and thy home,

In many a token and sign,

I never look up with a vow to the sky,

But a light like thy beauty is there;

And I hear a low murmur like thine in reply,

When I pour out my spirit in prayer.

Little children! bright young cherubs,

Bending from their homes above,

Sweet companions, lovely teachers,

Winning by their trusting love!

Heed their messages from heaven,

Lisped in accents soft and mild,

With loving smile, and guardian care,

Cherish each little child.

Lillie Ambrose.

THE GRIEF I FEEL.

I sometimes hold it half a sin

To put in words the grief I feel,

For words, like nature, half reveal

And half conceal the soul within.

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p. 128

But, for the unquiet heart and brain,

A use in measured language lies;

The sad, mechanic exercise,

Like dull narcotics, numbing pain.

In words, like weeds, I’ll wrap me o’er,

Like coarsest clothes against the cold,

But that large grief which these enfold

Is given in outline, and no more.

Tennyson.

PRAYER FOR STRENGTH.

Our Father, in this utter desolation

To thee we come for aid,

In vain our hearts withheld their last oblation,

Thy hand might not be stayed.

And we have drained the cup, with hearts all bleeding,

Yet striving still to see

That through this tribulation thou wert leading

Our spirits back to thee.

The cross is heavy; give us strength to bear it

Along the weary road,

The crown of thorns, O teach us how to wear it;

Be thou our help, O God.

Anna A. Hall.

TWILIGHT MEDITATIONS.

Silently the shades of evening

Gather round my lonely door;

Silently they bring before me

Faces I shall see no more.

Oh! the lost, the unforgotten,

Though the world be oft forgot;

Oh! the shrouded and the lonely,

In our hearts they perish not.

Living in the silent hours,

Where our spirits only blend,

They, unlinked with earthly trouble,

We, still hoping for the end.

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p. 129

How such holy memories cluster

Like the stars when storms are past,

Pointing up to the far heaven

We may hope to join at last.

MY LITTLE ANGEL BOYS.

I may not see their features,

Save in memory’s faithful glass,

But I feel that they are with me,

Each moment that doth pass.

I feel them in the promptings

Of good which thrill my heart;

I hear them in the voices

Which pleasures most impart.

When the sun beams bright around me,

And my soul is full of joys,

I then discern the presence

Of my two angel boys.

They whisper solace to me,

When sorrow’s cloud is dark,

They fan hope’s fading embers

When dwindled to a spark.

Their voice is sweetest music,

But it greeteth not the ear;

The heart alone receives it,—

The heart alone can hear.

As I lay me down to slumber,

Peace in my breast doth reign,

For I know my angel watchers

Amid the gloom remain.

Spirit eyes gaze on me,

Eyes that know not night;

Spirit hands unite to bless me

Hidden from my sight.

Hidden, but, O, happiness!—

Faith assurance brings!

Living, loving, still they’re round me,

Borne on willing wings.

B. P. Shillaber.

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p. 130

IDA ON EARTH AND IN HEAVEN.

Once I had a little daughter,

Smiling through her golden hair,

As she knelt to her who taught her,

Morn and eve, to say a prayer.

Little Ida, smiling Ida,

Ida made a heaven here,

When so meekly ’neath the star-light

Spoke she of a heavenly sphere.

While I listened to the story,

Which she told of heaven there,

Thought I then an angel glory

Led her soul from earthly care.

Gentle Ida, heavenly Ida,

Ida lost to earth for aye,

Gone to heaven, charmed by angels,

Who have beckoned her away,

Alas! upon her couch of pain

Looked she when the stars shone bright,

And then I saw that smile again

Beam from eyes of holy light.

Loving Ida, angel Ida,

Ida, beautiful in death,

Lost to parent, gone to heaven,

Pur as fragrant summer’s breath.

Whene’er star-light spreadeth o’er me,

And I feel thy presence near,

O! then my heart doth turn to thee,

Smiling from thy heavenly sphere.

Faithful Ida, watchful Ida,

Ida of the golden hair,

Here thou wert a smiling cherub,

Now thou art an angel there.

W. B. A.

SHE PASSED AWAY.

Long nights of pain and sickness

Had dimmed her loving eye,

And death, the king of terrors,

Was standing closely by.

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Upon her brow of marble,

We saw the clammy blight,

And knew her spirit’s pinions

Were pluming for their flight.

Then the feeling came o’er us,

She ’s passing away.

With smothered sobs of anguish

We heard her gasp for breath,

As farther yet she wandered

Adown the vale of death,

“So cold, so deep,” she murmured,

To him who held her hand,

“The waters swell around me:

O, for the heavenly land!”

Then the feeling came o’er us,

She ’s passing away.

We sant to her of heaven,

Of those elysian plains,

Where holiness and beauty

For ever, ever reigns;

And of that glorious city,

The New Jerusalem,

Where each immortal saint-brow

Receives a diadem.

Then the feeling came o’er us,

She ’s passing away.

Smiles of exulting beauty

Stole o’er her pallid face,

And we knew that she had conquered

Through Jesus’ precious grace.

One farewell kiss she sighed for,

One sigh up-heaved her breast;

One parting glance to loved ones,

And soon she was at rest.

Then we knew, O we knew

She had passed away.

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p. 132

THE FURNACE.

’Tis in affliction’s furnace, as of old,

Our Father loveth to choose his people.

Bereaved mourner! called to take thy stand

Amid the scorching flames, dost thou not see

“One in the furnace like the son of God,”

Whose gracious presence makes thee pass unscathed

The fiery ordeal?

Fear thou not, then, this furnace, for he lights it,

Not to destroy, but only to refine;

To purify the gold, and purge away

The dross, and fit for glory!

DREAM POETRY.

Sir John Herschel, famous in the scientific world, avers that the following comforting stanza was made by him in a dream, and written down immediately on waking.

Throw thyself on thy God, nor mock him with feeble denial;

Sure of his love, and oh! sure of his mercy at last;

Bitter and deep though the draught, yet shun not the cup of thy trial,

But in its healing effect smile at its bitterness past.

BRILLIANTS.

No earthward clingings,

No lingering gaze,

No strife at parting,

No sore amaze.

But sweetly, gently,

He passed away,

From the world’s dim twilight

Into day.

As sparks break out of burning coals,

And still are upward borne,

So grief is rooted in our soul,

And man grows up to mourn.

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p. 133

Yet with my God I leave my cause,

And trust his promised grace,

He rules me by his well-known laws

Of truth and righteousness.

Not all the pains that e’er I bore

Shall spoil my perfect peace,

For death and hell can do no more

Than what my Father please.

We miss them when the board is spread,

We miss them when the prayer is said;

Upon our dreams their dying eyes,

In still and mournful fondness rise.

But they are where these longings vain

Trouble no more the heart and brain;

The sadness of this aching love

Dims not our father’s house above.

Mrs. Hemans.

She did but float a little way

Adown the stream of time,

With dreamy eyes watching the ripples play,

Listening their fairy chime; [sic]

Her slender sail

Ne’er felt the gale;

She did but float a little way,

And pulling to the shore

While yet ’t was early day,

Went calmly on her way

To dwell with us no more.

No jarring did she feel,

No grating on her vessel’s keel;

A stripe of silver sand

Mingled the waters with the land,

Where she was seen no more.

Do what I may, go where I will,

Thou meet’st my sight;

There dost thou glide before me still,

A form of light!

I feel thy breath upon my cheek,

I see thee smile, I hear thee speak,

Till, oh! my heart is like to break.

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p. 134

Methinks thou smil’st before me now

With glance of stealth;

The hair thrown back from thy full brow

In buoyant health:

I see thine eyes deep violet light,

Thy dimpled cheek, carnation bright,

Thy clasping arms so round and white.

D. M. Moir.

A shepherd long had sought in vain

To call a wandering sheep;

He strove to make her pathway plain,

Through dangers thick and deep:

At last the gentle shepherd took

Her little lamb from view,

The mother turned with anguished look,

She turned and followed too.

My little one, my sweet one, thy couch is empty now,

Where oft I wiped the dews away which gathered on thy brow.

No more, amidst the sleepless night, I smooth thy pillow fair,

’Tis smooth indeed, but rest no more thy small, pale features there.

My little one, my sweet one, thou can’st not come to me,

But nearer draws the numbered hour when I shall go to thee;

And thou, perchance, with seraph smile, and golden harp in hand,

May’st come the first to welcome me to our Immanuel’s land.

Far other lands thy happy feet have trod,

Far other scenes thy tender soul has known,—

The golden city of the eternal God,

The rainbow splendors of the eternal throne.

Through the pearl-gate, how lightly hast thou flown!

The streets of lucid gold—the chrysolite

Foundations have received thee, dearest one!

That thought alone can break affliction’s night:

Feeling that thou art blest, my heart again is light.

Thanks to the Framer of life’s mystery!

Thanks to the Illuminator of the grave!

Vainly on time’s obscure and tossing sea,

Hope did I seek, and comfort did I crave;

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p. 135

But he who made, neglected not to save.—

My child! thou hast allied me to the blest:

I cannot fear what thou did’st meekly brave;

And heaven is doubly heaven with thee, with thee possessed.

Into the eternal shadow

That girts our life around,

Into the infinite silence

Wherewith death’s shore is bound,

Thou hast gone forth, my darling,

And it were wrong to weep

That thou hast left life’s shallows,

And dost possess the deep.

Thou liest low and silent,

Thy heart is cold and still,

Thine eyes are shut forever,

And death has had his will.

He loved, and would have taken;

I loved, and would have kept;

We strove, and he was stronger,

And I in anguish wept.

Let him possess thy body,—

Thy soul is still with me,

More sunny and more gladsome

Than it was wont to be.

Now I can see thee clearly;—

The dusky cloud of day,

That hid thy starry spirit,

Is rent and blown away.

To earth I give thy body,

Thy spirit to the sky,

I saw its bright wings growing,

And knew that it must fly.

Now I can love thee truly,

For nothing comes between

The senses and the spirit,

The seen and the unseen;

lifts the eternal shadow,—

The silence bursts apart,

And the soul’s boundless future

Is present in my heart.

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p. 136

MORN ADVANCES—LET ME GO.

Cease here longer to detain me,

Fondest mother, drowned in woe,

Now thy kind caresses pain me;

Morn advances—let me go.

See yon orient streak appearing,

Harbinger of endless day:

Hark! a voice the darkness cheering,

Calls my new-born soul away.

Lately launched, a trembling stranger,

On the world’s wild, boisterous flood,

Pierced with sorrows, tossed with danger,

Gladly I return to God.

Now my cries shall ceasee to grieve thee,

Now my trembling heart finds rest;

Kinder arms than thine receive me,

Softer pillows than thy breast.

There, my mother, pleasures centre;

Weeping, parting, care, or woe,

Ne’er our Father’s house shall enter:

Morn advances—let me go.

Cecil.

THE DEATH OF A CHILD.

O fairest flower, no sooner blown but blasted,

Soft silken primrose fading timelessly,

Summer’s chief honor, if thou hadst out-lasted

Bleak Winter’s force that made thy blossom dry;

For he, being amorous on that lovely dye

That did thy cheek envermeil, thought to kiss,

But killed, alas, and then bewailed his fatal bliss!

Yet can I not persuade me thou art dead,

Or that thy corpse corrupts in earth’s dark womb,

Or that thy beauties lie in wormy bed,

Hid from the world in a low-delved tomb;

Could heaven for pity thee so strictly doom?

Oh, no! for something in thy face did shine

Above mortality, that show’d thou wast divine.

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p. 137

Resolve me, then, O Soul most surely blest!

(If so it be that thou these plaints dost hear,)

Tell me, bright Spirit, where’er thou hoverest,

Whether above that high first-moving sphere,

Or in Elysian fields, (if such there were,)

O say me true, if thou wert mortal wight,

And why from us so quickly thou didst take thy flight.

Or wert thou of the golden-winged host,

Who, having clad thyself in human weed,

To earth from thy prefixed seat didst post,

And after short abode, fly back with speed,

As if to show what creatures Heaven doth breed,

Thereby to set the hearts of men on fire

To scorn the sordid world and unto heaven aspire?

But oh, why did’st thou not stay here below,

To bless us with thy heaven-loved innocence,

To slake His wrath whom sin hath made our foe,

To turn swift-rushing black perdition hence,

Or drive away the slaughtering Pestilence;

To stand ’twixt us and our deserved smart?

But thou canst best perform that office where thou art.

Then thou, the mother of so sweet a child,

Her false imagined loss cease to lament,

And wisely learn to curb thy sorrows wild;

Think what a present thou to God hast sent,

And render Him with patience what he lent;

This if thou do, he will an offspring give

That till the world’s last end shall make thy name to live.

John Milton.

“LOVE IN DEATH.”

A mother sits by a lowly grave,

A hillock small and green;

With two grey stones at the head and feet,

And the daisied turf between.

Silent she sits in that place of graves,

As if tranced in a dream of prayer,

And her hand soft plays with the rustling grass,

As with the curls of an infant’s hair.

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Does she think of the time when she hushed it soft

With cradle lullabies?

Or when it hung on her teeming breast,

With a smile in its lifted eyes?

Or when she touched with a reverent hand,

(When its sunny years were three,)

The lamb-like fleece of its flaxen locks,

As it prayed beside her knee?

Or the hour when a sad and simple pall

Was borne from the cottage door,

And its dancing step was never heard

Again on the household floor?

Does she fondly image a cherub shape

’Mid a shining angel band,

With star-crowned locks and garments white,

With a lily in its hand?

Silent her thought; but at twilight hour

Ever she sitteth there,

And her hand oft plays with the rustling grass,

As with curls of an infant’s hair.

I LONG TO BE THERE.

I have read of a world of beauty,

Where there is no gloomy night,

Where love is the mainspring of duty,

And God the fountain of light;

And I long to be there!

I have read of its flowing river,

That bursts from beneath the throne!

And the beautiful trees that ever

Are found on its banks alone;

And I long to be there!

I have read of the myriad choir;

Of the angels harping there;

Of the holy love that burns like fire;

And the shining robes they wear;

And I long to be there!

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I have read of the sanctified throng

That passed from earth to heaven,

And now unite in the loudest song

Of praise for their sins forgiven;

And I long to be there!

I have read of their freedom from sin,

And suffering, and sorrow too;

And the holy joy they feel within,

As their risen Lord they view;

And I long to be there!

I long to rise to that world of light,

And to breathe its balmy air;

I long to walk with the Lamb in white,

And shout with the angels there,

O, I long to be there!

E. H. Nevin.

LOOSE THE CABLE.

Lord, the waves are breaking o’er me and around;

Oft of coming tempest I hear the moaning sound;

Here there is no safety, rocks on either hand;

’T is a foreign roadstead, a strange and hostile land.

Wherefore should I linger? others gone before

Long since safe are landed on a calm and friendly shore;

Now the sailing orders, in mercy, Lord, bestow—

Loose the cable, let me go!

Lord, the night is closing round my feeble bark;

How shall I encounter its watches, long and dark?

Sorely worn and shattered by many a billow past,

Can I stand anothe rude and stormy blast?

Ah! the promised haven I never may attain,

Sinking and forgotten amid the lonely main;

Enemies around me, gloomy depths below,

Loose the cable, let me go!

Lord, I would be near thee, with thee, where thou art—

Thine own word hath said it, ’t is “better to depart,”

There to serve thee better, there to love thee more,

With thy ransomed people to worship and adore,

Ever to thy presence thou dost call thine own—

Why am I remaining, helpless and alone?

O! to see thy glory, thy wondrous love to know,

Loose the cable, let me go!

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Lord, the lights are gleaming from the distant shore,

Where no billows threaten, where no tempests roar;

Long-beloved voices calling me I hear—

O! how sweet their summons fall upon my ear!

Here are foes and strangers, faithless hearts and cold,

There is fond affection, fondly proved of old!

Let me haste to join them; may it not be so?

Loose the cable, let me go!

Hark! the solemn answer! hark, the promise sure!

“Blessed are the servants who to the end endure!”

Yet a little longer hope and tarry on—

Yet a little longer, weak and weary one!

More to perfect patience, to grow in faith and love,

More my strength and wisdom and faithfulness to prove;

Then the sailing orders the captain shall bestow—

Loose the cable, let me go!

THE LITTLE COFFIN.

’T was a tiny rose-wood thing,

Ebon bound, and glittering

With its stars of silver-white,

Silver tablet, blank and bright,

Downy pillowed, satin lined,

That I, loitering, chanced to find

’Mid the dust and scent and gloom

Of the undertaker’s room,

Waiting, empty—ah! for whom?

Ah! what bitter tears shall stain

All this satin sheet like rain,

And what towering hopes be hid

’Neath this tiny coffin lid;

Scarcely large enough to bear

Little words that must be there,

Little words, cut deep and true,

Bleeding mothers’ hearts anew,

Sweet, pet name, and “Aged Two.”

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Oh! can sorrow’s hovering plume

Round our pathway cast a gloom,

Chill and darksome as the shade

By an infant’s coffin made!

From our arms an angel flies,

And our startled, dazzled eyes,

Weeping round its vacant place,

Cannot rise its path to trace,

Cannot see the angel face.

OUR SISTER.

She hath caught the fair splendor,

She hath heard the low, tender

Melodious warbles at heaven’s high gate.

And she says,—“I am weary!

The night time is dreary—

Dear Savior, thou lovest me, I know thou dost wait

By the River of Life, at the beautiful gate!”

Her babe on her bosom,

(O, pale little blossom!)

We folded her hands in a solemn repose!

Then fell we a-weeping

For her visionless sleeping,

As the long, heavy night-watches drew to a close,

And left her with death in lovely repose.

LINES BY DANIEL WEBSTER.

In 1825 Mr. Webster lost a son, 3 years old, named Charles, possessing singular attractiveness of mind and character. Soon after that event he enclosed the following poetic effusion in a letter to his wife.

My son, thou wast my heart’s delight,

Thy morn of life was gay and cheery:

That morn has rushed to sudden night,

Thy father’s house is sad and dreary.

[Charles Webster: born 31 December 1821 (See memorial at Find a Grave: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/28170487); died 19 December 1824, Boston, Massachusetts, of lung fever (see “Deaths and Interments in Boston”; in: Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, at ancestry.com)]

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I held thee on my knee, my son!

And kissed thee laughing, kissed thee weeping;

But ah! thy little day is done,

Thou ’rt with my angel sister sleeping.

The staff, on which my years should lean,

Is broken ere those years come o’er me;

My funeral rites thou shouldst have seen,

But thou art in thy tomb before me.

Thou rear’st to me no filial stone,

No parents’ grave with tears beholdest;

Thou art my ancestor, my son!

And stand’st in heaven’s account the oldest.

On earth my lot was soonest cast,

Thy generation after mine;

Thou hast thy predecessor passed,

Earlier eternity is thine.

I should have set before thine eyes

The road to heaven, and showed it clear;

But thou, untaught, spring’st to the skies,

And leav’st thy teacher lingering here.

Sweet seraph, I would learn of thee,

And hasten to partake thy bliss!

And O! to thy world welcome me,

As first I welcomed thee to this.

Dear angel, thou art safe in heaven,

No prayer for thee need more be made;

O let thy prayer for those be given,

Who oft have blessed thy infant head.

My father! I beheld thee born,

And led thy tottering steps with care;

Before me risen to heaven’s bright morn,

My son! my father! guide me there.

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DEATH OF A FRIEND’S CHILD.

Children are God’s apostles, day by day

Sent forth to preach of love and hope and peace;

Nor hath thy babe his mission left undone.

To me, at least, his going hence hath given

Serener thoughts and nearer to the skies,

And opened a new fountain in my heart

For thee, my friend, and all: and, O, if Death

More near approaches, meditates, and clasps

Even now some dearer, more reluctant hand,

God, strengthen thou my faith, that I may see

That ’t is thine angel, who, with loving haste

Unto the service of the inner shrine

Doth waken thy beloved with a kiss.

J. R. Lowell.

MY DAUGHTER.

I had a little daughter, and she was given to me

To lead me gently backward to the heavenly Father’s knee,

That I by the force of nature might in some wise divine,

The depths of his infinite patience to this wayward soul of mine.

I know not how others saw her, but to me she was wholly fair,

And the light of the heaven she came from still lingered and gleamed in her hair,

For it was as wavy and golden, and as many changes took,

As the shadows of sun-gilt ripples on the yellow bed of a brook.

To what can I liken her, smiling upon me her kneeling lover,

How it leaped from her lips to her eyelids, and dimpled her wholly over,

Till her outstretched hands smiled also, and I almost seemed to see

The very heart of her mother sending sun through her veins to me.

She had been with us scarce a twelvemonth, and it hardly seemed a day,

When a troop of wandering angels stole my little daughter away,

Or perhaps those heavenly Zincali but loosed the hampering strings,

And when they had opened her cage-door, my little bird used her wings.

The Same.

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THE COMFORTER.

“Ye weep, and it is well!

For tears befit earth’s parting.”

Mrs. Hemans.

Tears for the smitten heart,

That mourns earth’s severed ties,—

Tears for the loved, who part

In sadness, ’neath the skies,—

Tears for earth’s brightest hopes when fled;

Tears for the cherished, early dead.

Ah, yes! ’round board and hearth,

A vacant place ye find,—

And one tie less on earth,

Your spirits here to bind;

But then how sweet the thought is given:

Another harp is strung in heaven.

All that your fondest love

Was wreathing for that brow,

In the spirit land above

Is consummated now;

What for your darling could ye crave,

More than Heaven writes upon its grave?

Then, though ye weep,—rejoice,

Though oft bereft,—hope on;

And soon shall higher joys

Your yearning spirits crown;

Sweet voices woo you to the skies,

No more to mourn earth’s broken ties.

OUR ABBY’S DEAD.

Gone, forever! gone, forever!

Low thy lovely form doth lie,

Hushed thy voice that charmed us ever,

Quenched the brightness of thine eye.

Hopes of fairest, sweetest promise,

Perished in thy young decay;

And the hour that bore thee from us,

Carried more than wealth away!

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Yet our loss, not thine, gives anguish;

Thou hast won, with life’s poor breath,

Life that ne’er shall end nor languish,

Early heaven with early death.

Much as do our hearts yearn o’er thee,

Not one resurrection word,

Could it back to earth restore thee,

From our lips should e’er be heard.

Easier now “to set affection

On the things that are above,”

For amid the bright collection,

Shines the jewel of our love.

S. W. Palmer.

GRATITUDE.

I thank thee, God! for all I’ve known

Of kindly fortune, health, and joy;

And quite as gratefully I own

The bitter drops of life’s alloy.

Oh! there was wisdom in the blow

That wrung the sad and scalding tear,

That laid my dearest idol low,

And left my bosom lone and drear.

For when the weight of sorrow found

My spirit prostrate and resigned,

The anguish of the bleeding wound

Taught me to feel for all mankind.

Even as from the wounded tree,

The goodly, precious balm will pour;

So in the riven heart there ’ll be

Mercy that never flowed before.

’T is well to learn that sunny hours

May quickly change to mournful shade;

’T is well to prize life’s scattered flowers;

Yet be prepared to see them fade.

I thank thee, God! for weal and woe;

And whatso’er the trial be,

’T will serve to wean me from below,

And bring my spirit nigher Thee!

Eliza Cook.

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CONSOLATIONS.

As healing balm upon the spirit broken

Fall the sweet accents of the Savior’s voice,

Freely and kindly is the promise spoken,

Lift up your head, O mourner, and rejoice,—

Behold the great Physician draweth near,

He that hath ears to hear, O let him hear!

If many trials round your pathway gather,

If storms beset you in your earthly way,

Go to the presence of your heavenly Father,

Bend to the earth, and lift your heart, and pray;

His ready ear attends to all distress,

With rest and peace he will the spirit bless.

And ye, who sad and desolate are weeping,

O’er those whose joy, whose life ye called your own,

The while our Father held them in his keeping,

And so recalled them to his heavenly throne,

Soar, day by day, on Hope’s bright wings of prayer,

Unto his mansions, and behold him there.

Be but his children, fearlessly confiding

In a loved parent’s tenderness and care,

And ye shall see God’s love through all abiding,

Himself brought nearer by your earnest prayer;

Though fathomless life’s mysteries seem to view,

A Father’s hand shall bear you safely through.

If darkest woes of life and bitterest sorrow,

Are mixed for you, e’en then the fearful cup

Shall yet o’erflow with blessings faith can borrow,

Ere ye have drank the bitter portion up;

And thus shall trial make your robes more white,

And Faith at last give place to perfect light.

THE DYING WISH.

“Mamma,” a little maiden said,

Almost with her expiring sigh,

“Put no sweet roses round my head,

When in my coffin dress I lie.”

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“Why not, my dear?” the mother cried,

“What flower so well a corpse adorns?”

“Mamma,” the innocent replied,

“They crowned our Savior’s head with thorns.”

James Montgomery.

THE DEPARTED.

There’s anguish in the household,

It’s desolate and lone,

For a fondly cherished nursling,

From the parent nest has flown.

A little form is missing,

A heart has ceased to beat,

And the chain of love lies shattered,

At the desolator’s feet.

Remove the empty cradle,

His clothing put away,

And all his little playthings,

With your choicest treasures lay.

Strive not to check the tear-drops

That fall like summer rain,

For the sun of Hope shines through them,

Ye shall see his face again.

O think where rests your darling,

Not in his cradle-bed,

Not in the distant church-yard,

With the still and mouldering dead;

But in a heavenly mansion,

Upon the Savior’s breast,

With his brothers’ arms about him,

He takes his sainted rest.

He has put on robes of glory,

For the little robes ye wrought,

And he fingers golden harp-strings,

For the toys his sisters brought.

O! weep! but with rejoicing,

A heart-gem have ye given,

And behold its glorious setting,

In the diadem of Heaven!

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THE ANGEL OF PATIENCE.

To weary hearts, to mourning homes,

God’s meekest angel gently comes:

No power has he to banish pain,

Or give us back our lost again;

And yet, in tenderest love, our dear

And heavenly Father sends him here.

Oh, thou who mournest on thy way,

With longings for the close of day!

He walks with thee,—that angel kind,

And gently whispers, “Be resigned!

Bear up, bear on,—the end shall tell,

The dear Lord ordereth all things well.”

J. G. Whittier.

THE CHILD’S GRAVE.

It is a place where tender thought,

Its voiceless vigil keepeth:

It is a place where kneeling love,

’Mid all its hope still weepeth:

The vanished light of all a life,

That tiny spot encloseth,

Where, followed by a thousand dreams,

The little one reposeth.

It is a place for hope to rise,

When other brightness waneth;

And, from the darkness of the grave,

To learn the gift it gaineth

From him, who wept as on the earth

Undying love still weepeth;

From him, who spake those blessed words,

“She is not dead, but sleepeth!”

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THE EARLY CALLED.

Think of youth

Smitten amidst its playthings.

Ion.

Think, Mother! of the babe that clung,

In weakness closely to thy love,

Round whom thy arms were warmly flung,

While blessings for it rose above,

With every panting of thy breast,

With every kiss, a whispered prayer,

That on its happy head might rest,

That this sweet bud might aye be blest,

And Heaven’s shielding favor share,

Where is that infant?—Where?

Think, Mother! of thy prattling girl,

Whose sunny eyes have gladdened thee,

Whose bird-like voice, ’mid care’s wild whirl,

Hath charmed thee with its melody;

Whose airy step within thy hall,

Was signal still of pleasure there;

Bright creature! who embodied all

That we perfection fondly call,

Or dream the pure blest spirits are;

Where is that daughter?—Where?

Think, Mother! of thy noble boy,

Who stood before thee in the pride

Of strength and beauty; no alloy

Thy fond maternal hopes to chide,

As his clear eye and open brow

Thou soughtest, and within his hair

Of careless curls, thy fingers thou,

Delighted, was wont to place,

And mark the father in his face,

And see thy image mirrored there;

Where is that boy?—O where?

That infant is a seraph now!

That daughter kneels before the throne!

That beauteous boy, with harp and crown,

Exulting, spreads his silver wings;

Thou almost hear’st those perfect strings,

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Whose music is to thee unknown

Sound where the glad immortals bow,

Where children cast their honors down,

Where elders and apostles meet

At Jesus’ feet.

Think, Mother! while sweet tears are shed,

How blessed are the Early Dead!

W. B. Tappanj.

NAME NOT THE DEAD.

“Do not name the dead so frequently.”

Oh, never say, “Name not the Dead!”

Their memory we should keep

Among the heart’s most cherished things,

O’er which we watch and weep.

Oh, never say, “Name not the Dead!”

Nor bid us to “forget;”

Would’st lightly prize the summer’s sun,

Because that sun has set?

Oh, never say, “Name not the Dead!”

Their record, let it be

Enshrined among our “household gods,”

Things most we love to see.

Oh, never say, “Name not the Dead!”

But give them still their place,

And round the dear domestic hearth

Bring each remembered face.

Oh, never say, “Name not the Dead!”

It soothes the sufferer’s lot

To whisper in his dying ear,

“Thou shalt not be forgot.”

“Name not the Dead!” Oh, speak not so,

The low voice seems to say

Of one who, like a dream of bliss,

Passed from our earth away.

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Oh, never say, “Name not the dead!”

These gentle accents come

From lips long since in silence sealed,

The silence of the tomb.

Then never say, “Name not the Dead!”

Their memory is given,

To link the chain good spirits weave

Between our souls and heaven.

Anna L. Angier.

THE INFANT’S GRAVE.

Yet have I chosen for thy grave, my child,

A bank where I have lain in summer hours,

And though how little it would seem like death,

To sleep amid such loveliness.

When Spring

Wakens the buds above thee, we will come,

And standing by thy music-haunted grave,

Look on each other cheerfully, and say,

A child that we have loved is gone to heaven,

And by this gate of flowers, she passed away.

N. P. Willis.

THE NEST AMONG GRAVES.

The cloudless sun went down

Upon a churchyard scene,

And there a quiet nest I marked

Hid in an evergreen;

As wandering ’mid the hallowed mound

With velvet verdure drest,

I paused where two sweet sisters lay

In death’s unbroken rest.

There was a marble seat

Beside that couch of clay,

Where oft the mournful mother sat

To pluck the weeds away,

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And bless each infant bud,

And every blossom fair,

That breathed a sigh of fragrance round

The idols of her care.

The unfleg’d birds had flown

Far from the nest away,

Yet still within the imprisoning tomb

Those gentle sleepers lay;

But surely as those bright wing’d birds

Forsook its sheltering tree,

And soared with joyous flight to heaven,

Such shall their rising be.

A FABLE.

I saw two lambs try many a time

A mountain pathway steep to climb,

To reach a grass-spot fresh and new

That smiled above in tempting view.

One gained, at length, the height so fair,

And cropped the flowery herbage there:

A wolf in ambush near that lay

Leapt forth and seized it as its prey.

Then seemed the lamb that missed its aim,

In grateful accents to exclaim:

“Oh, now I see, by Heaven’s direction,

My want of power is my protection.”

For lack of foresight, man denies

That Providence is just and wise,

And blames the hand, not understood,

That’s working out his own best good:

At disappointments slight he grieves,

Unreconciled, till he perceives

That in the seeming evil lies

His greatest blessing in disguise.

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TRIBULATION.

The word tribulation is derived from the Latin “tribulum,”—which was the threshing instrument, or roller, by which Roman husbandmen separated corn from the husks. Hence the word has been appropriated for the setting forth of a higher truth; and trials being the appointed means for the separating in men of their chaff from their wheat, they are fitly syled tribulations.

Till from the straw, the flail the corn doth beat,

Until the chaff be purged from the wheat,

Yea, till the mill the grains in pieces tear,

The richness of the flour will scarce appear.

So till men’s persons great afflictions touch,

If worth be found, their worth is not so much,

Because, like wheat in straw, they have not yet

That value which in threshing they may get.

For, till the bruising flails of God’s corrections

Have threshed out of us our vain affections;

Till those corruptions which do misbecome us

Are by the sacred Spirit winnowed from us;

Until from us the straw of worldly treasures,

Till all the dusty chaff of empty pleasures,

Yea, till his flail upon us he doth lay,

To thresh the husk of this our flesh away;

And leave the soul uncovered, nay, yet more,

Till God shall make our very spirit poor,

We shall not up to highest wealth aspire;

But then we shall; and that is my desire.

OUR TWINS—MARY AND MARIA.

“Lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in death not divided.”
(SEE FRONTISPIECE.)

Gone to the rest

Of the ever blest,

To the new Jerusalem,

Children of light

Walking in white,

And the Savior leadeth them.

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TO MY LITTLE SON, TWO MONTHS OLD.

They said that I should give to thee

The name thy elder brother wore,—

Thy elder brother, whom my knee

Hath dandled, whom I hold no more.

I cannot give thy brother’s name

To thee, my little infant son!

In dust he sleepeth, yet the same

He seems as either precious one

Of those that still remain with me:

I cannot give his name to thee

The plaything on our parlor floor,

Who with us is no longer seen,—

Oh no! I call thee not Eugene!

’T would seem to blot him from his place,—

Though he to fill our bitter cup

Hath died, I cannot thus efface

His memory. No! I reckon up,

With these dear children, the loved others

Who slumber in their early grave;

As mine I cite, their several names—

The buried with their living brothers

And sister, that my Maker gave,

And love as well the absent claims

As those around my fireside seen,—

Oh, no! I call thee not Eugene!

THE LITTLE BOY THAT DIED.

We shall soon go home to our Father’s house,—

To our Father’s house in the skies;

Where the hope of our souls shall have no blight,

Our love no broken ties.

We shall roam on the banks of the river of peace,

And bathe in its blissful tide,

And one of the joys of our heaven shall be,

The little boy that died.

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THE TENDER SHEPHERD.

There was a shepherd, once, whose tender care

Was ever o’er his flock. By day and night

He watched and guarded them. In pastures led

Them carefully, and when they thirsted he

Brought them to the clear waters. Him they loved

To follow, and would fondly lick his hand

In sign of strong attachment.

All but one,—

A sheep that ever frowardly did rove,

And heeded not the Shepherd. Kindness he

Lavished in vain for she would have her will,

And neither heard his voice nor loved his step.

Her master, seeing all endeavor vain,

To win her from her wanderings, took her lamb,

But, gently,—in his arms, and his way,

Immediately the sheep, submissive, followed.

Mother! that weepest for thy little babe,

Taken, to win thy wayward steps to heaven,

Say, was the Shepherd cruel.

W. B. Tappan.

EVA.

Dry thy tears for holy Eva,

With the blessed angels leave her;

Of the form so soft and fair,

Give to earth the tender care.

In the better home of Eva,

Let the shining ones receive her,

With the welcome voiced psalm,

Harp of gold and waving palm!

All is light and peace with Eva;

There the darkness cometh never;

Tears are wiped and fetters fall,

And the Lord is all in all.

Weep no more for happy Eva,

Wrong and sin no more shall grieve her,

Care and pain and weariness,

Lost in love so measureless.

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Gentle Eva, loving Eva,

Child confessor, true believer,

Listener at the Master’s knee,

“Suffer such to come to me.”

O for faith like thee, sweet Eva,

Lighting all the solemn river,

And the blessings of the poor,

Wafting to the heavenly shore.

John G. Whittier.

RESIGNATION.

There is no flock, however watched and tended,

But one dead lamb is there!

There is no fireside, howsoe’er defended,

But has one vacant chair!

The air is full of farewells to the dying,

And mournings for the dead;

The heart of Rachel for her children crying,

Will not be comforted!

Let us be patient! These severe afflictions

Not from the ground arise,

But oftentimes celestial benedictions,

Assume this dark disguise.

We see but dimly through the mists and vapors;

Amid these earthly lamps

Which seem to us but sad funereal tapers,

May be heaven’s distant lamps.

There is no Death! what seems so is transition;

This life of mortal breath,

Is but a suburb of the life elysian,

Whose portal we call Death.

She is not dead,—the child of our affection,

But gone unto that school,

Where she no longer needs our poor protection,

And Christ himself doth rule.

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In that great cloister’s stillness and seclusion,

By guardian angels led,

Safe from temptation, safe from sin’s pollution,

She lives whom we call dead.

Day after day we think what she is doing

In those bright realms of air;

Year after year, her tender steps pursuing,

Behold her grown more fair.

Thus do we walk with her, and keep unbroken

The bond which nature gives,

Thinking that our remembrance, though unspoken,

May reach her where she lives.

Not as a child shall we again behold her,

For when with raptures wild,

In our embraces we again enfold her,

She will not be a child.

But a fair maiden, in her Father’s mansion,

Clothed with celestial grace,

And beautiful with all the soul’s expansion,

Shall we behold her face.

And though at times, impetuous with emotion,

And anguish long suppressed,

The swelling heart heaves, moaning like the ocean,

That cannot be at rest;

We will be patient, and assuage the feeling,

We cannot wholly stay;

By silence sanctifying, not concealing,

The grief that must have way.

Henry W. Longfellow.

HATTIE ELVIRA.

“She is an angel now;” “for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

Earthly parents! weep not o’er her!

To another Parent’s breast,

On the wings of love, death bore her,

To the kingdom of the blest;

Where no weeping eyelids meet her,

Dwells she now in perfect rest.

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p. 158

ENTERING AT THE CELESTIAL GATE.

“Now, just as the gates were opened to let in the men, I looked in after them, and behold the city shone like the sun; the streets also were paved with gold, and in them walked many men with crowns upon their heads, palms in their hands, and golden harps to sing praises withal.” “There were also of them that had wings, and they answered one another without intermission, saying, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord.’ And, after that, they shut up the gates, which, when I had seen, I wished myself among them.”

Would I were with them! they are free

From all the cares they knew below,

And strangers to the strife that we

Encounter in this vale of woe.

From storms of sorrow and of pain,

Forever are they garnered in,

Secure from sad defilement’s stain,

The mildew and the blight of sin.

Would I were with them! They embrace

The loved ones, lost, long years before;

What joy to gaze upon the face

That never shall be absent more!

There friends unite who parted here,

At Death’s cold river, O how sadly!

Forgotten are the sigh and tear,

Their hearts are leaping, O how gladly!

Would I were with them! They behold

Their Savior, glorious and divine;

They touch the cups of shining gold,

And in his kingdom drink new wine.

How flash, like gems, their brilliant lyres,

Along the sparkling walls of heaven,

When from the radiance catching fires,

The song of songs to Christ is given!

Would I were with them! While without

Are sighs and weeping, they, within,

For every joy and gladness shout,

And well they may, who ’re free from sin!

O this, indeed, is heaven above,

This fills the bliss of every soul,

To grow in holiness and love,

As age on age shall ceaseless roll.

Tappan.

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p. 159

HEAVEN.

We speak of the realms of the blest,

Of that county so bright and so fair,

And oft are its glories confessed,

But what must it be to be there!

We speak of its pathways of gold,

And its walls decked with jewels most rare,

Of its wonders and treasures untold,

But what must it be to be there!

We speak of its freedom from sin,

From sorrow, temptation and care,

From trials without and within,

But what must it be to be there!

We speak of its service of love,

Of the robes which the glorified wear,

Of the church of the first-born above,

But what must it be to be there!

Then let us, ’midst pleasure and woe,

Still for heaven our spirits prepare,

And shortly we also shall know,

And feel what it is to be there!

ASPIRATIONS.

I stand upon the river’s verge,

Its waves break at my feet;

And can the roar of this dark surge,

Sound in my ear so sweet?

Higher and higher swell its waves,

Nearer the billows come!

And shall a dark and lonely grave

Outweigh a long-loved home?

’T is not alone the billow’s roar,

That falls upon mine ear,

But music from yon far-off shore,

Is wafted sweet and clear;

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p. 160

For angel harps are tuned to cheer

My faltering human faith,

And angel tongues are chanting there,

Triumphal hope in death.

Though dim and faltering grows my sight,

It rests not on the grave;

It sees a land in glory bright,

Beyond the darkening wave;

The gales that toss its crest of foam,

Come from that far-off shore,

They whisper of another home,

Where parting is no more.

The everlasting hills arise,

Bright in immortal bloom:

The radiance of those sunny skies,

Illumines e’en now the tomb:

And glorious, on those hills of light,

I see my own abode,

E’en now its turrets are in sight,

The city of our God.

Loved faces look upon me now,

And well-known voices speak!

O! when they left me long ago,

I thought my heart would break!

They beckon me to yonder strand,

Their hymns of triumph swell,

I see my own, my kindred band,

Earth, home, and time, farewell!

Welcome the waves that bear me o’er,

Though dark and cold they be!

To gain my home on yonder shore

I ’ll brave them joyously;

The snowy blood-washed robe I ’ll wear,

The palm of victory!

Welcome the waves that waft me there,

Though dark and cold they be.

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p. 161

I WEEP NOT.

I weep not as I wept

When first they laid thee low;

My sorrows all too deep are kept

To melt like common woe;

Nor do my lips e’er part

With whispers of thy name,

But thou art shrined in this hushed heart,

And that is all the same.

I weep not, though thou art laid

In such a lone, dark place,

Thou who did’st live without a shade,

To cloud thy sweet young face;

For now thy spirit sings,

Where angels once have trod,

Veiling their faces ’neath their wings,

Around the throne of God!

Thy faults were slight and few,

As human faults could be,

And thy virtues were as many too,

As gems beneath the sea;

And thy thoughts did heavenward roam,

Until, like links of gold,

They drew thee up to thy blue home,

Within the Savior’s fold.

OUR EARTHLY FRIENDS IN HEAVEN.

The following lines were found in the coat pocket belonging to a young man, soon after his death, which was occasioned by consumption.

Is it wrong to wish to see them,

Who were dear to us on earth,

Who have gone to heavenly mansions,

Who surround a brighter hearth?

Is it wrong to mourn their absence,

From the parted household band?

Should we check the sigh of sadness,

Though they ’re in a better land?

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p. 162

Is it wrong to hope to meet them

Yet upon the blessed shore,

And with songs of joy to greet them,

When this toil of life is o’er?

Is it wrong to think them dearer

Than the many of the blest

Who to us on earth were strangers?

Must we love them like the rest?

I ’ve a mother up in heaven,

And, oh! tell me, if ye will,

Will that mother know her children?

Will she recollect them still?

Can she look down from those windows,

To this dark and distant shore?

Will she know when I am coming?

Will she meet me at the door?

Will she clasp me to her bosom

In her ecstasy of joy?

Will she ever be my mother?

Shall I ever be her boy?

And thou, loved one, who did’st leave us,

In the morning of my bloom—

Dearest sister, shall I meet thee

When I go beyond the tomb?

Shall I see thy lovely features?

Shall I hear the pleasant words

Sounding o’er my spirit’s heart-strings,

Like the melody of birds?

And I think me of another,—

Of a darling little one—

Who went up among the angels

Ere his life had scarce begun.

Oh! I long once more to see him,

And to fold him in my arms!

As I did when he was with us,

With his thousand budding charms.

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p. 163

ON THE DEATH OF A CHILD.

Like a bowed lily lies her fair young head:

Cold is her shroud: colder the heart below!

No more the feverish pulses come and go;

The watchers are the watchers of the dead.

Sad eyes that saw her fade, are full of tears;

Fond hands that smoothed her pillow, clasped in prayer;

And Love goes wailing in its dark despair,

Till the sweet dawning of God’s grace appears.

O blest the soul whose lips of faith can say

In the storm-lulls of grief—“Thy will be done!”

O blest the soul that trusts that Holy One,

Who in his bosom bears his lambs away!

Harriet McEwen Kimball.

LOOK UPWARD.

Look upward and your child you ’ll see,

Fixed in his blest abode;

Who would not therefore childless be,

To give a child to God?

OUR WILLIE.

Winter winds were howling dreary,

Winter snows were falling fast,

When our Willie, wan and weary,

To a better region passed.

Cold the grave to which we bore him,

Damp the snows that rested there;

Sad the hearts that gathered round him,

Mournful rose to heaven the prayer.

Then we thought those eyes would open

Never to the scenes of earth,

From those lips no word be spoken

E’er to cheer our lonely hearth.

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p. 164

Sadder grew our hearts within us,

Burning were the tears that fell;

Gloomy were the skies above us

As we breathed our last farewell.

Then the gentle spring returning,

Clothed with green the hillside fair,

And the flow’rets were reviving,

Soft and balmy grew the air.

And, its icy fetters broken,

Merrier than e’er before

Danced the brooklet, giving token

That the winter’s reign was o’er.

Now the summer skies bend o’er us,

Skies of radiant azure blue,

Southern breezes scatter round us

Fragrant flowers of every hue.

And the birds the joyful chorus

From their happy bosoms pour;

But the mournful thought steels o’er us,

Willie waketh never more.

Yet a holier spirit fills us,

Seated on that grassy mound;

In the loving arms of Jesus,

There we know our lost is found.

THE LONELY GRAVE.

Thoughts of that little lonely grave,

Beneath the green tree shade,

Come over me with anguish new,

As when it first was made,

And “earth to earth,” and “dust to dust,”

Their fearful sound conveyed.

For there, within, my first born son

Was laid in slumber fair,

So life-like how could I mistrust

That death was imaged there?

They heaped the dark mould o’er his head,

And said a holy prayer.

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p. 165

And there he sleeps; so wonder not

That thus my tears will flow,

That little grave—that lonely grave,—

To leave unguarded so;

While far away from these sad scenes

I must forever go.

DEATH TONES.
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN OF UHLAND.

What notes are those, that from repose

Awake me with delight?

O, mother, see! who can it be

At this late hour of night?

Nought can I see, nought can it be,

Then slumber on so mild!

No serenade for thee is made,

Thou poor, sick, dying child!

These are no lays of earth that raise,

That fill me with delight;

The angels all, joyfully call!

Mother, dear—Good Night!

L. H..

THE MEMORY OF HELEN.

They say it is given

To those who have gone

From this world to heaven,

Still to love on;

That the rifts, when the sun-light

Parts the clouds of the air,

Are the windows their spirits

Smile through on us here;

And the rainbow that spanneth

Yon heavens—then waneth—

The track they come on.

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p. 166

Then come, for those windows

Are opening now—

Not a cloud, save the dark one

That hangs on my brow;

Come o’er the billow

That threatens so loud,

And write on my pillow

There ’s a bow in the cloud:

Though robed in the features

Of glorified creatures,

We shall know thee below.

We saw near the sun-set—

Was it thine?—yester-night,

A face so like one that

Grew pale with the light;

And it seemed to smile on us

As if it had said,—

By the love that hath won us,

Mourn not for the dead.

And we gazed, till the shadows

Reached over the meadows,

On that vision so bright.

No wonder it woke in

Our bosoms, the past;

For the tones it was spoke in

Were the ones she used last:

And the tenderness, stealing

Through each look and each word,

Was like the revealing

of some heavenly bird,

Or the gush of a fountain

Far, far up the mountain,

When the valley is passed.

And I—had I perished

in thy stead, by the way,

And my memory cherished

As thine is to-day;

Not the dews the night weepeth,

Baptizing the earth,

Nor the pole-star that keepeth

Its watch in the North,—

Such blessings e’er bring

As should burden my wing

For the children of clay.

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p. 167

Were I but an angel,

And the ministry mine,

Thus to hallow man’s life-lot

With colors divine—

Such the rapture, the power

Of an angel to wield,

His gloomiest hour

To sunshine should yield,

Oh! an angel to be,

Eternally free

On such ruins to build.

Not the sign of a sorrow

Should escape him by day,

But his songs of to-morrow

Should charm it away:

For in visions at even

I would come to his bed,

While the hopes that men lean on,

Should tell what I said.

An angel to hover—

What a change must come over

This heart, first, and head!

BLESSED LITTLE CHILDREN.

… Beautiful lines these on a very touching subject—the early dead—from the pen of a lady; to whose letter we reply by this publication.—Home Journal.

The blessed little children!

Who die in early years,

Their gentle lives are never dimmed

By misery and tears.

The happy little children!

Who brighten earth awhile,

And then clasp gladly death’s cold hands,

And leave us with a smile.

The blessed little children!

They sin and suffer not,

Nor live to mourn in later years,

Their dark and weary lot;

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p. 168

They only see upon the earth

The gladness and the sun,

And then, with smiles upon their lips,

Their pilgrimage is done!

Souls of the blessed children!

I envy you your rest,

That ye so quickly could lie down

In earth’s warm, quiet breast,

I wish my hands had long been bound,

As straitly as your own,

And that your silent company,

Were all that I had known.

O dead and blessed children!

Why did I draw my breath?

Why were my eyes not gently closed,

In sleep that brought me death?

Why were your hearts so calmly stilled,

While mine is beating yet,

And why upon my lips was not

The seal of silence set?

O blessed angel children!

I cannot join ye now,

Earth’s cares are beating in my heart,

And throbbing on my brow.

And bitter words are on my lips,

(Alas! they draw their breath!)

And worldly passions light my eyes,

While thine are calm with death.

O happy, blessed children!

Your hearts are calm in rest,

While mine beats wild and wailing still

In my unquiet breast.

And yet, earth’s joyance is so sweet,

Earth’s love and hope so dear,

That for its sake we still would live

A little longer here.

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p. 169

KIND WORDS.

Kind words can never die;

Cherished and blest,

God knows how deep they lie

Stored in the breast,

Like childhood’s simple rhymes,

Said o’er a thousand times.

Aye, in all years and climes,

Distant and near,

Kind words can never die,

Saith my philosophy,

Deep in the soul they lie,

God knows how dear.

BEAUTIFUL WORLD.

We’re going home, we’ve had visions bright

Of that holy land, that world of light,

Where the long, dark night of time is past,

And the morn of eternity dawns at last;

Where the weary saint no more shall roam,

But dwell in a happy peaceful home;

Where the brow, with sparkling gems is crowned,

And the waves of bliss are flowing around,

O that beautiful world! that beautiful world!

We’re going home, we soon shall be

Where the sky is clear and the soil is free,

Where the victor’s song floats o’er the plains,

And the seraph’s anthems blend with its strains,

Where the sun rolls down its brilliant flood,

And beams on a world that is fair and good,

Where stars, once dimmed at nature’s doom,

Will ever shine o’er the new earth bloom;

O that beautiful world! that beautiful world!

Where the tears and sighs which here were given,

Are exchanged for the gladsome song of heaven;

Where the beauteous forms which sing and shine,

Are guarded well by a hand divine;

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p. 170

Where the banner of love and friendship’s wand,

Are waving above the princely land,

And the glory of God, like a boundless sea,

Will cheer that immortal company;

O that beautiful world! that beautiful world!

’Mid the ransomed throng, ’mid the sea of bliss,

’Mid the holy city’s gorgeousness;

’Mid the verdant plains, ’mid angels cheer,

’Mid the saints that round the throne appear;

Where the conqueror’s song, as it sounds afar,

Is wafted on the ambrosial air;

Through endless years we then shall prove,

The depths of a Savior’s matchless love.

O that beautiful world! that beautiful world!

AFFLICTION’S STROKE.

The heart, which God breaks with affliction’s stroke,

Oft, like the flower, when stricken by the storm,

Rises from earth, more steadfastly to turn

Itself to heaven, whither, as a guide,

Kindly, though stern, affliction still is leading,

Even to the home of endless joy and peace.

There, on the borders of that Better Land,

Shall pain’s sharp ministry forever cease.

Then shall we bless thee, safely landed there,

And know above how good thy techings were;

Then feel thy keenest strokes to us in love were given,

That hearts most crushed on earth shall most rejoice in heaven[.]

THE BEST OF ALL.

By death of children dear bereft,

We ’ll weep, yet humbly kiss the rod,

The best of all we still have left

Our faith, our Bible, and our God.

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p. 171

VICTORIOUS FAITH.

O for a faith that will not shrink,

Though pressed by every foe,

That will not tremble on the brink

Of any earthly woe;—

That will not murmur or complain

Beneath the chastening rod,

But in the hour of grief or pain

Will lean upon its God;—

A faith that shines more bright and clear

When tempests rage without;

That when in danger knows no fear,

In darkness feels no doubt;—

A faith that keeps the narrow way

’Till life’s last hour is fled,

And with a pure and heavenly ray

Illumes a dying bed.

Lord, give us such a faith as this,

And then, whate’er may come,

We ’ll taste, e’en here, the hallowed bliss

Of an eternal home.

MOURNER’S ADDRESS.

Give forth thy chime, thou solemn bell,

Thou grave, unfold thy lonely cell;

O earth! receive upon thy breast

A child most dear unto his rest.

O God! extend thy arms of love,

A spirit seeketh thee above!

Ye heavenly palaces unclose,

Receive the weary to repose!

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p. 172

TO A DISTANT FRIEND.

Thine is a grief, the depth of which another

May never know.

Yet o’er the waters, O my stricken brother,

To thee I go.

I lean my heart unto thee,—sadly folding

Thy hand in mine,—

With even the weakness of my soul upholding

The strength of thine.

With silence only as their benediction,

God’s angels come

Where, in the shadows of a great affliction,

The soul sits dumb!

Yet, would I say what thine own heart approveth:

Our Father’s will,

Calling to him the dear one whom he loveth,

Is mercy still.

Not upon thee or thine the solemn angel

Hath evil wrought:

Her funeral anthem is a glad evangel,—

The good die not!

God calls our loved ones, but we lose not wholly

What he hath given;

They live on earth, in thought and deed, as truly

As in heaven.

And she is with thee. In thy path of trial

She walketh yet;

Still with the baptism of thy self-denial,

Her locks are wet.

Up, then, my brother! Lo, the fields of harvest

Lie white in view!

She lives and loves thee, and the God thou servest,

To both is true.

J. G. Whittier.

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p. 173

THE SAVIOR LIVES.

O ye, who with the silent tear

And saddened step assemble here,

To bear these cold, yet loved remains,

Where dark and cheerless silence reigns,—

Your sorrows hush, your griefs dispel;

The Savior lives, and all is well.

That eye, indeed, is rayless now,

And pale that cheek, and chill that brow,

Yet, could the lifeless form declare

The joys its soul is called to share,

How would our hearts rejoice to tell,

The Savior lives, and all is well.

Huie.

“OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD.”

As the sweet flower that scents the morn,

But withers in the rising day,

Thus lovely was this infant’s dawn,

Thus swiftly fled its life away.

It died ere its expanding soul

Had ever burned with wrong desires,

Had ever spurned at Heaven’s control,

Or ever quenched its sacred fires.

It died to sin; it died to cares;

But for a moment felt the rod.

O mourner, such,—the Lord declares,—

Such are the children of our God.

GOD’S WILL BE DONE.

Father, while our hearts are bleeding

O’er the spoils that death has won,

We would, at this solemn meeting,

Calmly say, “Thy will be done.”

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p. 174

Though cast down, we’re not forsaken;

Thou afflicted, we’re not alone;

Thou did’st give, and Thou hast taken;

Blessed Lord, “Thy will be done.”

Though to-day we’re filled with mourning,

Mercy still is on the throne;

With Thy smiles of love returning,

We can sing, “Thy will be done.”

By Thy hands the boon was given;

Thou hast taken but Thine own.

Lord of earth, and God of heaven,

Evermore “Thy will be done.”

CHAMBER OF THE HEART.

In thy heart there is a chamber,

None but God and thou hath seen it—

Darkened by the sombre shadows,

From the folds of thought that screen it.

On its walls are many pictures,

Painted by the hand of time;

Sketches of those mystic regions,

In the Infinite sublime.

There are portraits of the faces

That have passed away from earth,

Glimpses of those sunny places,

Sacred to thy childhood mirth.

* * * * *

There you see one slowly walking,

’Mid the glow life’s sunset weaves,

When his lips dropped farewell blessings,

As the trees their autumn leaves.

Thus comes he, long since departed,

Reaching out his hands to thine,

And his lips unto thee murmur,

In a tone which seems divine.

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p. 175

In this chamber sands a mirror,

Memory’s lamp hangs overhead,

Throwing down a softened radiance

On those pictures of the dead.

In its clear depths we distinguish

What we were, and what we are,

There our inner life, reflected,

Shows us hideous, or fair.

O! ’t is in this secret chamber

That we learn a solemn truth,

As in links of spirit union,

Age is joined again with youth.

ENDURANCE.

Ah, when the friends in whom we trust

As steadfast as the mountain rock,

Fly, and are scattered like the dust

Before misfortune’s whirlwind shock,

Nor love remains to cheer our fall,

This is most terrible of all.

But even this, and these,—ay, more

Can be endured, and hope survive;

The noble spirit still may soar,

Although the body fail to thrive;

Disease and want may wear the frame,

Thank God! the soul is still the same.

Hold up your head, then, man of grief,

Nor longer to the tempest bend,

Or soon or late must come relief—

The coldest, darkest night will end;

Hope in the true heart never dies!

Trust on! the day-star yet shall rise.

Conscious of purity and worth,

You may with calm assurance wait

The tardy recompense of earth;

And e’en should justice come too late

To soothe the spirit’s homeward flight,

Still Heaven, at last, the wrong shall right.

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p. 176

FADING FLOWER.

So fades the lovely blooming flower,

Frail, smiling solace of an hour;

so soon our transient comforts fly,

And pleasure only blooms to die.

Is there no kind, no soothing art,

To heal the anguish of the heart?

O, let Religion then be nigh;

Her comforts were not made to die.

then gentle Patience smiles on Pain,

And dying Hope revives again;

Hope wipes the tear from Sorrow’s eye,

And Faith points upward to the sky.

Steele.

A NAME BETTER THAN SONS AND DAUGHTERS.

Isaiah 56: 5.

Ye mourning saints, whose streaming tears

Flow o’er your children dead,

Say not, in transports of despair,

That all your hopes are fled.

While, cleaving to that darling dust,

In fond distress ye lie,

Rise, and with joy and reverence view

A heavenly Parent nigh.

I ’ll give the mourner, saith the Lord,

In my own house a place;

No name of daughters and of sons

Could yield so high a grace.

Transient and vain is every hope

A rising race can give;

In endless honor and delight,

My children all shall live.

We welcome, Lord, those rising tears,

Through which thy face we see,

And bless those wounds which through our hearts,

Prepare a way to thee.

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p. 177

OUR LITTLE KATIE.

Pretty little Katie!

Smiling,

Beguiling,

Full of childish merriment that nothing could check;

Without a moment’s warning

She’d run down in the morning,

And jump upon my knee, and throw her arms about my neck!

Coaxing little Katie!

Gay thing,

Plaything,

Thinking all the world was made for fun and glee;

Her eyes they shone so brightly,

Her footsteps fell so lightly,

Ah, I made too much of Katie, and Kate too much of me!

Romping little Katie!

Tripping,

Skipping,

Through garden and through orchard, or meadow now,

Then back a minute after,

With most melodious laughter,

And rosy as a red cheek’d apple on a bough.

* * * * *

Solemn little Katie!

Dying,

Trying

To give me one more kiss—but with lips of clay;

She looks very pale and sickly,

She is breathing very quickly,

And angels hover round, to bear her soul away!

Happy, happy Katie!

Wandering,

Pondering,

I hie me to her daisy bed, and muse there alone;

Though cold and sad the place is,

Oh how fair her angel face is,

As she feels the kind embraces

Of Him who loves the little ones, and makes them his own!

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p. 178

THE GLORY TO BE REVEALED.

“I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.”

Wouldst thou inherit life with Christ on high?

Then count the cost, and know

That here on earth below

Thou needst must suffer with thy Lord, and die.

We reach that gain, to which all else is loss,

But through the cross.

O think what sorrows Christ himself has known!

The scorn and anguish sore,

The bitter death he bore,

Ere he ascended to his heavenly throne;

And deemest thou, thou canst with right complain,

Whate’er thy pain?

Not e’en the sharpest sorrows we can feel,

Nor keenest pangs, we dare

With that great bliss compare,

When God his glory shall in us reveal,

That shall endure when our brief woes are o’er

Forevermore!

Simon Dach, 1640.

HEAR! FATHER.

Hear! Father, hear our prayer!

Thou who art Pity where sorrow prevaileth,

Thou who art Safety when mortal help faileth,

Strength to the feeble, and Hope to despair,

Hear! Father, hear our prayer!

Hear thou the poor that cry!

Bless thou the needy, and lighten their sorrows;

Grant them the sunshine of hope for the morrow;

They are thy children, their trust is on high;

Hear thou the poor that cry!

Dry thou the mourner’s tear!

Heal thou the wounds of time-hallowed affection,

Grant to the widow and orphan protection,

Be in their trouble a friend ever near.

Dry thou the mourner’s tear!

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p. 179

NO OTHER WAY.

Out of the storm the rainbow comes;

From the midnight gloom the stars,

The moon, that silvers thousand homes, [sic]

Climbs first o’er cloudy bars.

And every morn ’s the child of night;

There is no other way;—

O may this life, so void of light,

Give birth to heaven’s own day!

Dean.

NEARER.

One sweetly solemn thought

Comes to me o’er and o’er;

I’m nearer my home to-day

Than I’ve ever been before;

Nearer my Father’s house,

Where the many mansions be;

Nearer the great white throne,

Nearer the jasper sea;

Nearer that bound of life

Where we lay our burdens down;

Nearer leaving my cross,

Nearer wearing my crown.

CHEERING THOUGHT.

How cheering the thought, that the spirits in bliss

Will bow their bright wings to a world such as this;

Will leave the sweet joys of the mansions above,

To breathe o’er our bosoms some message of love.

They come, on the wings of the morning they come,

Impatient to lead some poor wanderer home,

Some pilgrim to snatch from this stormy abode,

And lay him to rest in the arms of his God.

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THE LORD MY SHEPHERD.

The Lord is my Shepherd;

I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures;

He leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me

In the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of

Death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;

Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine

Enemies, thou anointest my head with oil; my cup

Runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days

Of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

Forever. Amen.

David.

A SWEET RELIEF.

Would’st thou from sorrow find a sweet relief?

And is thy heart oppressed with woes untold?

Joy would’st thou find for thy corroding grief?

Pour blessings round thee like a shower of gold!

Rise to some work of high and holy love,

And thou an angel’s happiness shalt know;

Shalt bless the earth while in the world above,

The good begun by thee shall onward flow

In many a branching stream, and wider grow;

The seed, that in these few and fleeting hours

Thy hands unsparing and unwearied sow,

Shall deck thy grave with amaranthine flowers,

And yield thee fruits divine in heaven’s immortal bowers.

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COME YE DISCONSOLATE.

Come, ye disconsolate, where’er ye languish;

Come, at the mercy seat fervently kneel;

Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish;

Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.

Joy of the desolate, Light of the straying,

Hope of the penitent, fadeless and pure;

Here speaks the Comforter, tenderly saying,

Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot cure.

FRIENDSHIP TILL DEATH.

Hand in hand we have enjoyed

The playful term of infancy together;

And in the rougher path of ripened years

We’ve been each other’s stay. Dark lowers our fate,

And terrible the storm that gathers o’er us:

But nothing, till that latest agony

Which severs thee from nature, shall unloose

This fixed and sacred hold. In thy dark prison-house;

In the terrific face of armed laws;

Yea, on the scaffold, if it needs must be,

I never will forsake thee.

Joanna Baillie.

LET THE BELL TOLL.

Let the bell toll; another soul

Has passed the stygian river;

Without a fear, without a tear,

’T was rendered to the Giver.

To God’s high throne that young heart’s moan,

“In pity spare!” ascended—

Now, spared the woe which reigns below,

That mournful prayer is ended.

Sorrow and doom, and fear and gloom,

No more within its vision;

It now doth raise soft hymns of praise,

In happiness Elysian.

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EARLY FRIENDS.

Many sounds were sweet,

Most ravishing and pleasant to the ear;

But sweeter none than voice of faithful friend,—

Sweet always, sweetest heard in loudest storm.

Some I remember, and will ne’er forget,

My early friends, friends of my evil day;

Friends in my mirth, friends in my misery too;

Friends given by God, in mercy and in love.

My counsellors, my comforters and guides;

My joy in grief, my second grief in joy,

Oh, I remember, and will ne’er forget,

Our meeting spots, our chosen sacred hours;

Our burning words, that uttered all the soul;

Our faces beaming with unearthly love;

Sorrow with sorrow sighing, hope with hope

Exulting, heart embracing heart entire.

* * * We soared into the skies,

And cast the clouds beneath our feet, and earth,

With all her tardy, leaden-footed cares,

And talked the speech, and ate the food of heaven.

Robert Pollok.

“IT IS THE LORD.”

It is the Lord—enthroned in light—

Whose claims are all divine;

Who has an undisputed right

To govern me and mine.

It is the Lord—who governs all—

My wealth, my friends, my ease;

And of his bounties may recall

Whatever part he please.

It is the Lord—should I distrust,

Or contradict his will?

Who cannot do but what is just,

And must be righteous still.

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It is the Lord—who can sustain

Beneath the heaviest load,

From whom assistance I obtain

To tread the thorny road.

It is the Lord—whose matchless skill

Can from afflictions raise—

Matter, eternity to fill

With ever-growing praise.

Greene.

EMIGRANT’S CHILD.

We buried her—our youngest one,

The lambkin of our fold—

When the bright rays of our rising sun

Tipped the forest trees with gold;

When the dew was on the opening flowers,

And the bird-song filled the air,

And the echoes of the woodland bowers,

Caught the deep voice of prayer.

Yes, she,—our gentle, timid child,—

Her head was pillowed low,

Far in the western forest wild,—

In deep and wordless woe.

There was no church-bell’s solemn sound,

No plaintive funeral hymn;

But the giant trees waved darkly round,

And our eyes and hearts were dim.

One burst of bitter agony,

That would not be repressed;

One tearful prayer, breathed fervently

O’er our loved and early blessed;

And we left the silvery stream to flow

And the leafy boughs to wave

Their mournful murmurs, blending low

O’er that lonely, lonely grave.

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We’ve seen some sunny hours since then;

Our Western home is fair;

And more than one bright, heaven-lent gem,

Smiles sweetly ’neath our care;

But oft, in softened tones, we breathe

The cherished name of one

Whose memory round our hearts must wreathe,

Till life’s brief day is done.

Amanda Weston.

BE PITIFUL, O GOD!

We sit together, with the skies,

The steadfast skies above us:

We look into each other’s eyes,—

“And how long will you love us?”

The eyes grew dim with prophecy,

The voices, low and breathless—

“Till death us part!”—O words, to be

Our best for love the deathless!

Be pitiful, dear God!

We tremble by the harmless bed

Of one loved and departed—

Our tears drop on the lips that said

Last night, “Be stronger hearted!”

O God,—to clasp those fingers close,

And yet to feel so lonely!—

To see a light on dearest brows,

Which is the daylight only!

Be pitiful, O God!

The happy children come to us,

And look up in our faces:

They ask us—Was it thus, and thus,

When we were in their places?

We cannot speak: we see anew

The hills we used to live in;

And feel our mother’s smile press through

The kisses she is giving.

Be pitiful, O God!

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p. 185

We pray together at the kirk,

For mercy, mercy, solely—

Hands weary with the evil work,

We lift them to the Holy!

The corpse is calm below our knee—

Its spirit, bright before Thee—

Between them, worse than either, we—

Without the rest or glory!

Be pitiful, O God!

LIGHT FROM DARKNESS.

Darkly bend the mountains o’er us,

Dim and dusky in the night,

But their summits woo the moonbeams,

And are touched with heavenly light.

And the cloud that lowers the darkness,

Holds the blessing of the rain,

And the grief that stuns the deepest,

Hath another touch than pain.

“LET US AID ONE ANOTHER.”

“Let us aid one another.” A motto so good

The first in the list of good mottoes should stand.

Where stands one so firmly, but firmer had stood,

Had friendship been ever just ready at hand.

Happily, cheerily, bound to each other,

True to the motto, let’s aid one another.

Let us aid one another; a little will do it,

Will rescue from misery, sorrow, and woe;

Whatever the trial, the heart will go through it,

If sympathy’s rays on the road shed a glow;

And a voice of warm feeling, like that of a mother,

Cries, Never despair, we will aid one another.

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Let us aid one another, in passing through life,

To tread in the paths which the blessed have trod;

To cultivate kindness, and banish all strife,

And prove ourselves worthy of heaven, and God,

Where all may be welcomed in joy as a brother;

Hence let us determine to aid one another.

G. G. W. Morgan.

SYMPATHY.

There should be no despair for you,

While nightly stars are burning;

While evening pours its silent dew,

And sunshine gilds the morning.

There should be no despair—though tears

May flow down like a river;

Are not the best beloved of years

Around your heart forever.

They weep, you weep, it must be so;

Winds sigh as you are sighing,

And Winter sheds his grief in snow

Where Autumn’s leaves are lying.

Yet these revive, and from their fate,

Your fate cannot be parted;

Then journey on, if not elate,

Still never broken-hearted.

Emily Bronte.

“THY WILL BE DONE.”

Though dark and heavy sorrow

Doth cast on thee its spell,

And gloomy seems the morrow,

Remember “all is well;”

Though grief doth hover o’er thee,

And dark clouds haunt thy sun,

Keep this sweet prayer before thee:

“Father, Thy will be done.”

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p. 187

Though when life’s bark seems freighted

With happiness for thee,

And with bright hopes elated,

Thy heart with joy may be,

Affliction’s dark clouds lower,

And Grief thy heart doth stun,

Then pray, in that sad hour:

“Father, Thy will be done.”

And when earth’s sorrows ’round thee,

Have fallen thick and fast;

When ties which long have bound thee

So fondly to the past,

All sundered are, yet alway,

Whate’er to thee may come,

Submissive and resigned, pray:

“Father, Thy will be done.”

Whatever in life’s pathway

May come of good or ill,

Confiding, thy fond heart may

Bend to thy Father’s will;

And when sadly thou dost grieve,

When all seems dark, yet one

Comfort’s left for thee, to breathe:

“Father, Thy will be done.”

BIBLE CONSOLATIONS.

Bible! blessed Bible! treasure of the heart!

What sweet consolation doth thy page impart;

In the fiercest trial, in the deepest grief,

Strength, and hope, and comfort, in each holy leaf,

Bible,—let me clasp thee, anchor of the soul!

When the storm is raging, when the waters roll,

When the frowning heavens darken every star,

And no hopeful beacon glimmereth afar,

Be my refuge, bible! then be thou my stay,

Guide me on life’s billow, light the dreary way;

Tell me of the morrow, when a sun shall rise,

That shall glow forever in unclouded skies;

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p. 188

Tell me of that heaven in the climes above,

Where the bark rides safely in a sea of love.

Bible! let me clasp thee! Chronicle divine!

Of a world’s redemption, of a Savior mine!

Wisdom for the simple, riches for the poor,

Hope for the desponding, for the sick a cure,

Rest for all the weary, ransom for the slave,

Courage for the fearful, life beyond the grave.

Ralph Hoyt.

IN MEMORIAM.

O earth! how fleeting are thy joys—how transient is thy bliss

How slight our hold on happiness in such a world as this!

Aye, surely as the summer day, that dawns so fair and bright,

Must change at last and leave us with the shadows of the night;

Or, like the tempting fruit of old, so famed in ancient lore,

Pleasant and luscious to the sight, but ashes at the core,—

Are all the pleasures of the world; and those who strive to clasp

The joys that earth can bring, will find them crumble in their grasp.

O! ye who mourn your dearest one, the loved, the idolized,—

Whose every word was treasured up, whose every look was prized,—

With all to make his pathway bright that earth could call her own,—

With loving eyes to mark each smile, and ears to drink each tone,—

What has this world to offer now, of all her hollow mirth?

How can it fill the vacant place beside the household hearth?

How can it bring the light of home to shine as once it shone?

For death hath entered at the door, the cherished one has gone

Unto a land of pure delight, of bliss without alloy,

Where death can never enter in, to mar the perfect joy,—

Where they may live and love us still, who loved us here below,

Not with the love that mortals feel, but such as angels know.

Parted awhile; but brief, at best, the time will seem to be,

For us to watch and wait the hour that sets the spirit free,—

In hope that, when the summons comes to leave this earthly shore,

We die to live a deathless life, and meet to part no more!

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p. 189

THE GRAFTED BUD.

So brightly beautiful, so fair!

So lovely in her tender years,

Ye might have known she could not bear

To tarry in a life of tears.

Those long-fringed lashes never more

With drops of sorrow shall be wet,

For she hath reached a blessed shore,

And only left us to regret,

And broken hopes and troubled care,

And garbs of grief that mortals wear.

The stricken father, desolate,

Folding his arms on empty air,

Where erst his darling daughter sat,

How will ye comfort his despair!

The sunshine and the dews of love

Have nursed in vain his foreign flower,

And for her native soil above

She early left his earthly bower;

She could not linger, save to bless

A little while his tenderness.

Then bear her to a quiet spot,

And break for her the moistened earth,

The burden of each tender thought,

The blessing of the household hearth:

And let the May flowers gently wave

With life like hers, as brief, as fair,

In fragrant beauty on her grave,

And o’er the dust that slumbers there:

While her pure spirit, from above

Bends o’er her home of earthly love.

Perchance before the Eternal Throne,

The new-born angel bows her head,

With yearning heart and thrilling tone,

Asks healing for the hearts that bled;

Asks from the Holy Comforter,

Comfort for her loved-ones here,

For her “sweet mother,” oh! for her

Permission but to hover near,

To soothe, to cheer, to shield from ill;

Her child in heaven to bless her still.

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Ye happy ones, whose children fair

Are bounding ever in your sight,

When in the strength of fervent prayer,

Ye thank your God for them to-night,

Remember her whose nursery all

Is dark within her silent home;

Who heard with agony the call,

“Suffer the little one to come.”

Ask for her heart, that lonely spot,

Submission to “forbid it not.”

And now the lamb is in the fold,

And on the Shepherd’s bosom laid;

His arms shall ne’er relax their hold,

His love shall pillow her young head.

By the green pastures she shall stray,

And where the living waters pour,

From the blest fount of truth she may

Drink, deeply drink, and thirst no more.

There let her rest—her path is trod,

The way was short, and led to God.

IT IS I.

When the storm of the mountain on Galilee fell,

And lifted its waters on high;

And the faithless disciples were bound in the spell

Of mysterious alarm; their terrors to quell,

Jesus whispered, “Fear not, it is I, it is I.”

The storm could not bury that word in the wave,

For ’t was taught through the tempest to fly;

It shall reach his disciples in every clime,

And his voice shall be near in each troublous time,

Saying, “Be not afraid, it is I, it is I.”

When the spirit is broken with sickness or sorrow,

And comfort is ready to die;

The darkness shall pass, and in gladness to-morrow,

The wounded complete consolation shall borrow

From his life-giving word, “It is I, it is I.”

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A NIGHT SONG.

In loneliness and sorrow,

The heart, which once was light,

Sings now of the to-morrow,

E’en in affliction’s night.

A few faint notes of sadness,

My trembling voice can raise,

Lord, teach my heart in gladness

Aloud to sing thy praise.

Though earthly hopes are blighted,

My cherished ones laid low,

And o’er my soul affrighted,

Wild waves of anguish flow;

Yet will I sing thy goodness,

And trust thee every hour,

Oh! leave me not in darkness,

Beneath temptation’s power.

Dear Savior, I am weary,

Turn I to thee for rest,

Dark is my way, and dreary,

Without thy presence blest;

But to that morrow’s dawning

I lift my tearful eyes,

With earnest, heartfelt longing,

For love that never dies.

OUR REST.

“The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us.”

My feet are worn and weary with the march

over rough roads and up the steep hill-side:

O city of our God, I fain would see

Thy pastures green, where peaceful waters glide.

My hands are weary, laboring, toiling on,

Day after day, for perishable meat:

O city of our God, I fain would rest;

I sigh to gain thy glorious mercy-seat.

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My garments, travel-worn and stained with dust,

Oft rent by thorns that crowd my toilsome way,

Would fain be made, O Lord my righteousness,

Spotless and white in heaven’s unclouded ray.

My eyes are weary, looking at the sin,

Impiety, and scorn upon the earth:

O city of our God, within thy walls,

All, all are clothed upon with the new-birth.

My heart is weary of its own deep sin—

Sinning, repenting, sinning still alway;

When shall my soul thy glorious presence feel,

And find its guilt, dear Savior, washed away?

Patience, poor soul, the Savior’s feet were worn,

The Savior’s heart and hands were weary too;

His garments stained, and travel-worn, and old,

His sacred eyes blinded with tears for you.

Love thou the path of sorrow that he trod;

Toil on, and wait in patience for thy rest:

O city of our God, we soon shall see

Thy glorious walls, home of the loved and blest.

THE WAY TO PARADISE.

A child stood weeping at the gate

Of La Pitie, disconsolate,

Asking to see her mother dear.

“Begone,” the brutal porter cried,

“Your prayer is vain, she is not here.”

“I know she is,” the child replied,

“Oh, let me see her, I implore;”

And still she rapped the fastened door,

Till one more kindly than the rest,

Said, “Cease thy tears, take my advice,

And try to calm your troubled breast,

Your mother’s gone to Paradise.”

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p. 193

“To Paradise! Oh, where’s the way?”

She asked of every one she met;

They listened kindly, and all say,

“The way is long, and sore beset

With obstacles.” But Hope leads on,

And Piety supports her sinking heart;

Faith encourages—it shall be done;

And Charity fulfils her part;

And the child hopes once more to see

Her mother’s face, and with her be,

Resolved at any sacrifice

To find this way to Paradise.

At length, upon a barren soil,

Fatigue, and hunger, and the night

Arrest her in her weary toil:

A gentle shepherd sees her plight,

And to a convent near doth lead her;

The sisters hasten forth to aid her,

But all too late! she pales and trembles:

Death, who parts and re-assembles,

To her mother soon unites her;

Heaven opens, God invites her—

Unstained, and pure from earthly vice,

The sinless child’s in Paradise.

From the French.

NOT DEAD.

She is not dead. I see her stand

Close by the golden gate. How heavenly fair!

Clothed in the radiance of the spirit land—

Bright as the seraphim that mingle there.

She will not leave me long. No; she will come

And visit me in dreams, and by the way

Will woo my spirit to her heavenly home,

When life, with all its grief, has passed away.

Ah! then my soul upon that happier shore,

There shall we meet to part no more.

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p. 194

THE GOOD DIE NEVER.

There is a voice from the tomb sweeter than song; there is a remembrance of the dead to which we turn even from the charms of the living.

The good and the true

Never die—never die;

Though gone, thy are here,

Ever nigh—ever nigh.

Thou art not lost,—thy spirit giveth

Immortal peace, and high it liveth!

Thou art not mute—with angels blending,

Thy voice to me is still descending.

Thou art not absent,—sweetly smiling,

I see thee yet, my griefs beguiling!

Soft o’er my slumbers art thou beaming,

The sunny spirit of my dreaming.

As kind thou art; for still thou’rt meeting

The breast which gives thee tender greeting!

And shall I deem thee altered/—Never!

Thou ’rt with me, waking—dreaming, ever!

OUR BELOVED.

Our beloved have departed,

While we tarry, broken-hearted,

In the dreary empty house;

They have ended life’s brief story,

They have reached their home of glory,

Over death victorious.

Hush that sobbing, weep more lightly,

On we travel, daily, nightly,

To the rest that they have found.

Are we not upon the river,

Sailing fast, to meet forever

On more holy, happy ground?

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p. 195

Every hour that passes o’er us,

Speaks of comfort yet before us,

Of our journey’s rapid rate;

And like passing vesper bells,

The clock of time its chiming tells,

At eternity’s broad gate.

On we haste, to home invited,

There with friends to be united

In a surer bond than here;

Meeting soon, and meet forever!

Glorious hope! forsake us never,

For thy glimmering light is dear.

Ah! the way is shining clearer,

As we journey ever nearer

To the everlasting home.

Friends, who there await the landing,

Comrades, round the throne now standing,

We salute you, and we come.

LET ME DIE.

Life is a dream, a bright and fleeting dream,

I can but love; but then my soul awakens,

And from the mist of earthliness a gleam

Of heavenly light, of truth immortal breaks.

I shrink not from the shadows sorrow flings

Across my pathway; nor from cares that rise

In every footprint; for each shadow brings

Sunshine and rainbow as it glooms and flies.

But heaven is dearer. There I have my treasure;

There angels fold in love their snowy wings;

There sainted lips chant in celestial measure,

And spirit fingers stray o’er heaven-wrought strings.

There loving eyes are to the portals straying;

There arms extend, a wanderer to fold;

There waits a dearer, holier One, arraying

His own in spotless robes and crowns of gold.

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p. 196

Then let me die. My spirit longs for heaven,

In that pure bosom evermore to rest;

But if to labor longer here be given,

“Father, thy will be done!” and I am blest.

Mrs. Judson.

HALLELUJAH!

Meet again! yes, we shall meet again,

Though now we part in pain.

His people all

Together Christ shall call.

Hallelujah!

Soon the days of absence will be o’er,

And thou shalt weep no more;

Our meeting-day

Shall wipe all tears away.

Hallelujah!

Now I go with gladness to our home,

With gladness thou shalt come;

There I will wait

To meet thee at heaven’s gate.

Hallelujah!

Dearest! what delight again to share

Our sweet communion there!

To walk among

The holy ransomed throng.

Hallelujah!

Here, in many a grief, our hearts were one,

But there in songs alone;

Joy fading never,

Increasing, deepening ever.

Hallelujah!

Not to mortal sight can it be given

To know the bliss of heaven;

But thou shalt be

Soon there, and sing with me

Hallelujah!

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p. 197

GOOD IN TEARS.

There’s good in tears, or they had not been sent

By him who is all good! It is not wise

To keep our sorrows in our hearts up-pent,

When we can give them freedom from our eyes.

The storm-cloud only darkens our fair earth

Until it falleth down in gentle rain;

And then what wondrous beauties have their birth;

So, when our heart is overcharged with pain,

We see a shadow upon every good,

But let our heavy sorrows have their way;

And as they well into a tearful flood,

What comfort may not come? Ah, who can say?

Grief hath a mission holier than joy—

It moves the selfish, and it warms the cold;

A common sorrow will e’en praise destroy,

And change the king and beggar to one mould.

Our griefs should make us gentler to our kind,

And, as we comfort need, more comfort pay;

So using sorrow, we our tears shall find

Have washed some grossness of our souls away.

HOLIER TIES.

Each care, each ill of mortal birth,

Is sent in pitying love

To lift the lingering soul from earth,

And speed its flight above.

And every pang which rends the breast,

And every joy that dies,

Tells us to seek a heavenly rest,

And trust to holier ties.

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p. 198

HEAVEN’S ATTRACTIONS.

No sickness there,

No weary wasting of the frame away;

No fearful shrinking from the midnight air—

No dread of summer’s bright and fervid ray!

No hidden grief,

No wild and cheerless vision of despair;

No vain petition for a swift relief—

No tearful eyes, no broken hearts are there.

Care has no home

Within the realm of ceaseless prayer and song;

Its billows break away and melt in foam,

Far from the mansions of the spirit throng!

The storm’s black wing

Is never spread athwart celestial skies!

Its wailings blend not with the voice of Spring,

As some too tender floweret fades and dies!

No night distils

Its chilling dews upon the tender frame;

No moon is needed there! The light which fills

That land of glory, from its Maker came!

No parted friends

O’er mournful recollections have to weep!

No bed of death enduring love attends,

To watch the coming of a pulseless sleep!

No blasted flower,

Or withered bud, celestial gardens know!

No scorching blast, or fierce descending shower,

Scatters destruction like a ruthless foe!

No battle word

Startles the sacred host with fear and Dread!

The song of peace creation’s morning heard,

Is sung wherever angel minstrels tread!

Let us depart,

If home like this await the weary soul!

Look up, thou stricken one! Thy wounded heart

Shall bleed no more at sorrow’s stern control.

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p. 199

With faith our guide,

White-robed and innocent, to lead the way,

Why fear to plunge in Jordan’s rolling tide,

And find the ocean of eternal day?

GLIMPSES OF THE CELESTIAL STATE.

A friend of Dr. Nelson relates the following incident concerning him. While traveling together through a Western prairie, they paused to rest beneath a solitary tree. The doctor lay for a long time, silently looking upward through the opening in the boughs, into the still heavens, when he repeated these lines in a low tone, as communing with himself in view of the wonders he endeavored to describe:—

O, the joys that are there, mortal eye hath not seen;

O, the songs they sing there, with hosannas between;

O, brightness on brightness! the peal-gate uncloses;

O, white wings of angels! O, fields white with roses;

O, white tents of peace, where the rapt soul reposes;

O, the waters so still, and the pastures so green!

HEAVENLY GLORIES.

To walk amidst those glorious beams

Which kiss each cherub brow;

To feel one moment in the breast

The intense seraphic glow;

To stand upon the crystal sea,

And view the mirrored forms

Of kings and priests of heavenly mould,

Who once were mortal worms;

Were worth ten thousand years of love

More sweet than earth can yield,

Ten thousand years of purer bliss

Than faith has e’er revealed;

While bursting on the ravished ear,

Heaven’s glorious lyric swells,

As saint to saint the matchless grace

Of his Redeemer tells.

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p. 200

TEARS.

Flow, tears! ye have a spell,

A gentle spell, which weaves

Itself o’er my sad heart,

And its dull woe relieves.

Ye are all eloquent

In your soft, silent flow;

When, lone and musingly,

I feel my heart sink low.

Ye soothe the aching sense

Of pain, which pressing, weighs

Upon the troubled soul,

And all its youth decays.

Flow, tears! flow on, and calm

This troubled, aching breast;

Your mournful tenderness

Lulls agony to rest.

Hope gushes with you,

Telling of that fair land

Where tears are wiped away

For aye, by God’s own hand.

I will believe, and live;

The cross of Christ I take;

My God accepts my tears

For his dear Jesus’ sake!

INSCRIPTION.

Bold infidelity, turn pale and die!

Under this stone an infant’s ashes lie;

Say, is it lost, or saved?

If death ’s by sin, the effects of sin have brought it here;

If heaven ’s by works, then sure in heaven it can’t appear.

Revere the Bible’s sacred page, for here the knot ’s untied;

It died, for Adam sinned; it lives, for Jesus died!

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p. 201

THE REAPER AND THE FLOWERS.

There is a reaper whose name is Death,

And, with a sickle keen,

He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,

And the flowers that grow between.

“Shall I have naught that is fair?” saith he,

“Have naught but the bearded grain?

Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,

I will give them all back again.”

He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes;

He kissed their drooping leaves;

It was for the Lord of Paradise

He bound them in his sheaves.

“My Lord hath need of these flow’rets gay,”

The reaper said, and smiled;

“Dear tokens of the earth are they,

Where he was once a child.

“They shall all bloom in the field of light,

Transplanted by my care,

And saints, upon their garments white,

These sacred blossoms wear.”

And the mother gave, in tears and pain,

The flowers she most did love;

She knew she would find them all again,

In the field of light above.

O, not in cruelty, not in wrath,

The reaper came that day,

’T was an angel visited the green earth,

And took the flowers away.

Longfellow.

MY CHILDREN.

Nightly do they gather round me,

Cherished forms, with footsteps light,

Claiming the accustomed blessing

Of a mother’s warm caressing,

And a dear good night.

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p. 202

Little dreaming how it stirreth

In my heart an untamed wave!

Little thinking how it speaketh

Of a still, white form, that sleepeth

In a little grave.

Oft my quivering lips will falter,

But I turn them from the light,

For I know ’t would dim their gladness,

Should they read one line of sadness

With that dear good night.

Ever, when the winds are sporting

In their reckless, wintry rave;

Is my wakeful spirit turning,

With a strong and deathless yearning,

Toward that little grave.

Oh! I love the mirth of childhood,

With their faces soft and bright;

Priceless is their simple teaching,

And the daily wayside preaching

Of a glad good night.

Grateful that I still may gather

All within the home-fold, save

One pet Lamb, that meekly lieth

Where the evening zephyr sigheth,

O’er that little grave.

THE RABBI AND HIS SONS.

During the absence of the Rabbi Meir, his two sons died—both of uncommon promise and uncommon beauty. His wife bore them to her chamber, and laying them on her bed, spread a white covering over their lifeless bodies. When Rabbi Meir returned, his first inquiry was for his sons. His wife reached to him a goblet; he praised the Lord at the going out of the Sabbath, drank, and again asked, “Where are my sons, that they too may drink of the cup of blessing?” “They will not be far off,” she said, placing food before him that he might eat. He was in a glad and genial mood, and when he

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p. 203

had said grace after meat, she thus addressed him: “Rabbi, with thy permission I would fain propose to thee one question.” “Ask it then, my love,” replied he.

“A few days ago,” responded his wife, “a person left some jewels in my custody, and now he demands them; should I give them back to him?” “This is a question,” said the Rabbi, “which my wife should not have thought it necessary to ask. What, would’st thou hesitate to restore to every one his own?” “No,” she answered, “but yet I thought it best not to restore them without acquainting thee therewith.”

She then led him to the chamber, and stepping to the bed, took the white covering from the dead bodies. “Ah! my sons, my sons,” loudly lamented their father; “my sons, the light of my eyes, and the light of my understanding; I was your father, but you were to be my teachers in the law!” The mother turned away and wept bitterly. At length she took her husband by the hand, and said, “Rabbi, did’st thou not teach me that we must not be reluctant to restore that which was entrusted to our keeping? See, the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away, and blessed be the name of the Lord.” “Blessed be the name of the Lord,” echoed the Rabbi, “and blessed be his holy name forever!”

DEATH OF INFANTS.

Those who have never lost a child, are unable to understand how great a void the death of a little one can make. There is, we think, nothing on earth that can cast so long, and wide, and black a shadow as a coffin.—It is, emphatically, the shadow of death which freezes the parent’s heart. Small as is an infant’s tomb, it sometimes is capacious enough to hold all the brightest hopes and dearest joys of a whole family circle. The little child is often the bright focus where all the rays of gladness in a household center, and from which they are reflected again over happy hearts; and when this central light is eclipsed, great darkness falls upon all. How many there must be in heaven, gathered up from all climes, even from heathen shores, who have died so young as to retain no memory of earth, and to whom that world of glory seems as their native land; whose souls were washed and regenerated so early, that no stain of this world was ever visible upon them.

Harbaugh.

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p. 204

TWO IN HEAVEN.

“You have two children,” said I.

“I have four,” was the reply—“two on earth, two in heaven.”

Thus spoke the mother! Still hers, only gone before! Still remembered, loved and cherished, by the hearth and at the board—their places not yet filled, even though their successors draw life from the same faithful breast where their dying heads were pillowed.

“Two in heaven.”

Safely housed from storm and tempest. No sickness there, nor drooping head, nor weary feet. By green pastures, tended by the good Shepherd, linger the little lambs of the heavenly fold.

“Two in heaven.”

Earth less attractive. Eternity nearer. Invisible cords drawing the soul upwards. “Still small voices” ever whisper “Come!” to the world-weary, tired spirit.

“Two in heaven!”

Mother of angels! Walk softly! Holy eyes watch thy footsteps! Cherub forms bend to listen! Keep thy spirit free from earth’s taint; so shalt thou go to them, though they may not return to thee.

SCRIPTURE SELECTIONS.

“But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” “Is it well with the child? and she answered, It is well.” “And there is hope in thine end, saith the Lord, that thy children shall come again to their own border.”—Old Testament.

“Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” “Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise.” “It is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.”—New Testament.

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