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TO A LADY,

ON THE DEATH OF HER MOTHER AND DAUGHTER.

SARA,—so let me call thee, since that name
Is most familiar to thy friendly ear,
And for a mother that is now no more,
And for a sister passing dear to me
Long time it seems since thou and I have spoke
In verse or honest prose, or, happier still,
With running comment of looks, lips, and eyes,
And silence, when our mutual thought was heard,
Discoursed by mute and secret sympathy,
Interpreted by some balf-melting star,
That seemed a part of twilight, or akin
To the retiring, pensive, tawny hill,
So dim reflected in the dozing lake,
It wot not of its presence ;—lake once proud
Of diamonds dripping from thy silvery oar,
When thou, thy boat, and its long-beaded wake,
Seem'd like the shadow of a Glendoveer,
Floating above in smallest skiff of heaven, -

So shy, he would and yet would not be seen.
Those times are past, and I have known thee tamed
To sober womanhood and matron grave,
Yet like the ever-glad Hesperian tree,
Whose summer fruitage gleams through vernal flowers;
And I have seen thee, too, in double grief
For two pure souls removed, so like each other,
They may be playmates in the bowers of bliss,-
For souls like theirs receive no taint of time.
And who can doubt that each fine faculty,
But half-developed in the prophet spring
Of thy sweet Katherine's little life, shall bloom
In God's own light, consummate and fulfilled ?

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ON THE DEATH OF THOMAS JACKSON,

LATE OF LOW WOOD INN, WHO DIED BY

FALL FROM AN APPLE TREE.

THERE is the lake and there the quiet hills,

A casual passer would observe no change; Nor sign would see of widow's grief that kills

Even Nature's joy, and makes old beauty strange.

The last time I beheld thee, lovely lake,

Thou wert composed in that expectant calm, Which any sigh of love-sick maid might shake,

Or dying close of penitential psalm.

I thought of Death. Who doth not think of Death ?

And felt how sweet a boon that death might be, Were it indeed a calm to feel the breath

Whene'er it came of stirring Deity.

I thought of Death. But did not think how near

That awful sound to its most awful meaning; The babe that feels its mother's breast so near,

Slumbers and sucks and never dreams of weaning.

And even so we thought his honest face

Would ever greet us when we came again; It seemed a natural product of the place,

Warmed by the sun and freshened by the rain.

But he is gone, the form we long have seen,

The vivid image that we bore away,
Is now a shadow of what once hath been,

The spectre of a body in decay.

The lake is there, the hills their distance keep,

The tall trees stand as if they mourned for ever, But leave the widowed house alone to weep,

Nor seek the widowed heart from grief to sever.

For he is gone that was to us a smile,

An honest face to welcome when he came; Short was the time, but yet a weary while

When Death was struggling with the shattered frame. And many thoughts he had, as may be guessed,

And shows of earth that with the vision blended; Shows that at times perplexed, but later blessed

The spirit equipped just ere the strife was ended.

Perhaps the latest object to employ

His parting thought upon the death-bed pillow, Was the dear image of his orphan hoy,

With small foot challenging the frisky billow.

Whatever sight or sound possessed him last,

Whatever sound of nature tolled his knell, Gentle the sounds and fair the forms that past

Before his closing eye, and all was well.

Yes, all was well, for 'twas the will of Him,

Who knows both when to sow and when to reap; And now amid the smiling cherubim,

Beholds the tears of them he bad to weep.

False is the creed, because the heart is dead,

That blames the widow's or the orphan's tear; Eyes that beheld the Lord full oft were red

With human sorrow while they tarried here.

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