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Come forth, Oye children of gladness, come!
Where the violets lie may now be your home,
Ye of the rose-cheek and dew-bright eye,
And the bounding foot-step, to meet me fly,
With the lyre, and the wreath, and the joyous lay,
Come forth to the sunshine, I may not stay!
Away from the dwellings of care-worn men,
The waters are sparkling in wood and glen,
Away from the chamber and dusky hearth,
The young leaves are dancing in breezy mirth,
Their light stems thrill to the wild-wood strains,
And youth is abroad in my green domains.
But ye !-ye are changed since ye met me last ;
A shade of earth has been round you cast !
There is that come over your brow and eye
Which speaks of a world where the flowers must die!
Ye smile !--but your smile hath a dimness yet
Oh! what have ye looked on since last we met ?
Ye are changed, ye are changed !-and I see not here
All whom I saw in the vanished year!
There were graceful heads, with their ringlets bright,
Which tossed in the breeze with a play of light;
There were eyes, in whose glistening laughter lay
No faint remembrance of dull decay.
There were steps, that flew o'er the cowslip's head,
As if for a banquet all earth were spread;
There were voices, that rung through the sapphire sky,
And had not a sound of mortality!
--Are they gone!-is their mirth from the green hills
-Ye have looked on Death since ye met me last !
I know whence the shadow comes o'er ye now,
Ye have strewn the dust on the sunny brow!
Ye have given the lovely to earth's embrace,
She hath taken the fairest of beauty's race!
With their laughing eyes and their festal crown,
They are gone from amongst you in silence down.
They are gone from amongst you, the bright and fair,
Ye have lost the gleam of their shining hair !
-But I know of a world where there falls no blight,
I shall find them there, with their eyes of light!
Where Death 'midst the blooms of the morn may dwell,
I tarry no longer,-farewell, farewell !
The Summer is ħastening, on soft winds borne,
Ye may press the grape, ye may bind the corn!
For me, I depart to a brighter shore, .
Ye are marked by care, ye are mine no more.
I go where the loved who have left you dwell,
And the flowers are not Death's; fare ye well, farewell!
Friend after friend departs ;
Who hath not lost a friend ?
There is no union 'here of hearts,
That finds not here an end :
Were this frail world our only rest,
Living or dying, none were blest.
Beyond the flight of time,
Beyond this vale of death,
There surely is some blessed clime,
Where life is not a breath,
Nor life's affections transient fire,
Whose sparks fly upward to expire.
There is a world above,
Where parting is unknown;
A whole eternity of love,
Formed for the good alone ;
And faith beholds the dying here
Translated to that happier sphere!
Thus star by star declines,
Till all are passed away,
As morning high and higher shines
To pure and perfect day;
Nor sink those stars in empty night,
- They hide themselves in heaven's own light.
Yes! there are real mourners—I have seen
A fair, sad girl, mild, suffering, and serene ;
Attention, through the day, her duties claimed,
And to be useful as resigned she aimed :
Neatly she dressed, nor vainly seemed to expect
Pity for grief, or pardon for neglect;
But when her wearied parents sank to sleep,
She sought her place to meditate and weep :
Then to her mind was all the past displayed,
That faithful Memory brings to Sorrow's aid :
For then she thought on one regretted youth,
Her tender trust, and his unquestioned truth.
In every place she wandered, where they'd been,
And sadly-sacred held the parting scene;
Where last for sea he took his leave that place
With double interest would she nightly trace:
For long the courtship was, and he would say,
Each time he sailed". This once, and then the day :"
Yet prudence tarried ; but when last he went.
He drew from pitying love a full consent.
Happy he sailed, and great the care she took,
That he should softly sleep, and smartly look ;
White was his better linen, and his check
Was made more trim than any on the deck ;
And every comfort men at sea can know,
Was hers to buy, to make, and to bestow :
For he to Greenland sailed, and much she told,
How he should guard against the climate's cold;
Yet saw not danger ; dangers he'd withstood,
Nor could she trace the fever in his blood :
His messmates smiled at flushings in his cheek,
And he too smiled, but seldom would he speak;
For now he found the danger, felt the pain,
With grievous symptoms he could not explain :
Hope was awakened as for home he sailed,
But quickly sank, and never more prevailed.
He called his friend, and prefaced with a sigh A lover's message-" Thomas, I must die. “ Would I could see my Sally, and could rest “ My throbbing temples on her faithful breast, “ And gazing go !-if not, this trifle take, " And say, till death I wore it for her sake. " Yes! I must die--Blow on, sweet breeze, blow on! “Give me one look, before my life be gone! 6 Oh! give me that, and let me not despair“ One last fond look! And now, repeat the prayer."
He had his wish, had more-I will not paint
The lovers' meeting—She beheld him faint :
With tender fears, she took a nearer view,
Her terrors doubling as her hopes withdrew;
He tried to smile, and, half succeeding, said,
“ Yes! I must die!" and hope for ever fled !
Still long she nursed him--tender thoughts mean time
Were interchanged, and hopes and views sublime.
To her he came to die, and every day
She took some portion of the dread away;
With him she prayed, to him his Bible read,
Soothed the faint heart, and held the aching head :
She came with smiles the hour of pain to cheer :
A part she sighed; alone she shed the tear;
Then, as if breaking from a cloud, she gave
Fresh light, and gilt the prospect of the grave.
One day he lighter seemed, and they forgot
The care, the dread, the anguish of their lot ;
They spoke with cheerfulness, and seemed to think,
Yet said not so, “ Perhaps he will not sink :"
A sudden brightness in his look appeared,
A sudden vigour in his voice was heard.
She had been reading in the Book of Prayer,
And led him forth, and placed him in his chair ;
Lively he seemed, and spoke of all he knew,
The friendly many, and the favourite few ;
Nor one that day did he to mind recall,
But she has treasured, and she loves them all;
When in her way she meets them, they appear
Peculiar people-death has made them dear.
He named his friend, but then his hand she prest,
And fondly whispered, “Thou must go to rest :"
“I go,” he said ; but as he spoke, she found
His hand more cold, and fluttering was the sound !
Then gazed affrighted; but she caught a last,
A dying look of love—and all was past !
She placed a decent stone his grave above,
Neatly engraved—an offering of her love ;
For that she wrought, for that forsook her bed,
Awake alike to duty, and the dead ;
She would have grieved, had friends presumed to spare
The least assistance-'twas her proper care,
Here will she come, and on the grave will sit,
Folding her arms, in long abstracted fit;
But if observer pass, will take her round,
And careless seem, for she would not be found :
Then go again ; and thus her hours employ,
While visions please her, and while woes destroy.
Forbear, sweet maid ! nor be by fancy led,
To hold mysterious converse with the dead;
For sure at length thy thoughts, thy spirits' pain
In this sad conflict will disturb thy brain.
All have their tasks and trials! Thine are hard,
But short the time, and glorious the reward ;
Thy patient spirit to thy duties give,
Regard the dead ! but to the living, live!