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6. So strong a hold hath life upon the soul, Which sees no dawning of eternal light, But subject to this mortal frame's controul, Forgetful of its origin and right, Content in bondage dwells and utter night. By worthier ties was this poor mother bound To life ; even while her grief was at the height,
Then in maternal love support she found, And in maternal cares a healing for her wound,
7. For now her hour is come: a girl is born, Poor infant, all unconscious of its fate, How passing strange, how utterly forlorn! The genial season served to mitigate In all it might their sorrowful estate, Supplying to the mother at her door From neighbouring trees which bent beneath their
weight, A full supply of fruitage now mature, So in that time of need their sustenance was sure.
8. Nor then alone, but alway did the Eye Of Mercy look upon that lonely bower. Days past,and weeks;and months andyears went by, And never evil thing the while had power To enter there. The boy in sun and shower Rejoicing in his strength to youthhed grew; And Mooma, that beloved girl, a dower
Of gentleness from bounteous nature drew, With all that should the heart of womankind imbue.
9. The tears which o'er her infancy were shed Profuse, resented not of grief alone : Maternal love their bitterness allay'd, And with a strength and virtue all its own Sustain'd the breaking heart. A look, a tone, A gesture of that innocent babe, in eyes With saddest recollections overflown,
Would sometimes make a tender smile arise, Like sunshine opening thro' a shower in vernal skies.
Unknowing of all ill, amid the wild
Yea, where that solitary bower was placed,
Evils that fret and stain being far from thence, Her heart in peace and joy retain'd its innocence.
For tender sport, his soul rejoiced to see Connatural powers expand, and growing sympathy.
13. For her he cull’d the fairest flowers, and sought Throughout the woods the earliest fruits for her. The cayman's eggs, the honeycomb he brought To this beloved sister, ... whatsoe'er, To his poor thought, of delicate or rare The wilds might yield, solicitous to find. They who affirm all natural acts declare
Self-love to be the ruler of the mind, Judge from their own mean hearts, and foully wrong mankind.
14. Three souls in whom no selfishness had place Were here: three happy souls, which undefiled, Albeit in darkness, still retain'd a trace Of their celestial origin. The wild Was as a sanctuary where Nature smiled Upon these simple children of her own, And cherishing whate’er was meek and mild,
Call’d forth the gentle virtues, such alone, The evils which evoke the stronger being unknown.
15. What though at birth we bring with us the seed Of sin, a mortal taint, ... in heart and will Too surely felt, too plainly shown in deed, ... Our fatal heritage; yet are we still The children of the All Merciful; and ill They teach, who tell us that from hence must flow God's wrath, and then his justice to fulfil,
Death everlasting, never-ending woe : O miserable lot of man if it were so !
Doubt not but thou wilt find thy soul endued With all-sufficing strength of heavenly fortitude !
17. By nature peccable and frail are we, Easily beguiled; to vice, to error prone; But apt for virtue too. Humanity Is not a field where tares and thorns alone Are left to spring; good seed hath there been sown With no unsparing hand. Sometimes the shoot Is choked with weeds, or withers on a stone ;
But in a kindly soil it strikes its root, And flourisheth, and bringeth forth abundant fruit.
18. Love, duty, generous feeling, tenderness, Spring in the uncontaminated mind; And these were Mooma's natural dower. Nor less Had liberal Nature to the boy assign'd, Happier herein than if among mankind Their lot had fallen, ... oh, certes happier here ! That all things tended still more close to bind
Their earliest ties, and they from year to year Retain’d a childish heart, fond, simple, and sincere.
Upon that heart, a cause of secret care
20. Chance from the fellowship of human kind Had cut them off, and chance might reunite. On this poor possibility her mind Reposed ; she did not for herself invite The unlikely thought, and cherish with delight The dream of what such change might haply bring; Gladness with hope long since had taken flight
From her; she felt that life was on the wing, And happiness like youth has here no second spring.