Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

BERNARD BARTON.

STANZAS ON THE DEATH OF A CHILD.

Taough parental affection lament thee,

And anguish, which loves to recall Thy image, may oft represent thee

As the fairest and loveliest of all :
Although I must feel for such sorrow,

There is so much bliss in thy lot,
That pain froin thee pleasure inay borrow

And joy could not wish thee forgot.

When childhood, by sin yet untainted,

Gives up life, which it scarcely hath gain'd And, ere with affliction acquainted,

Hath its end and its object attain'd;
There is so much of sweet consolation,

To soften the sorrow we feel;
While we mourn the severe dispensation,

We bow to the hand which can heal.

Death comes not to such in his terrors,

His pains are half pangless to them; Crimes have not succeeded to errors,

Nor conscience been roused to condemn. The prospect before and behind them

Awakes not one heart-stinging sigh; The season of suffering assign'd them

May be bitter, but soon is gone by.

[ocr errors]

There is much to relicvé, and restore us

To peace, when the child which we loy'd Hath ascended to glory before us,

Not unblest, though in mercy unprov'd! Fond fancy gives birth to the feeling

That part of ourselves is at rest ; Hope, humble, but holy and healing,

Sheds its balm in the yet bleeding breast.
Who knows but the beings who bound us

With tenderest ties to this world,
Though unseen, may be hovering around us,

With their cherub-like pinions unfurld?
Although not to our senses permitted

To be visible, still they are near;
And the feelings they prompt are most fitted
To dry up the surrowing tear.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

They tell us that change of existence

Has not sever'd, but strengthen'd each tie; And, that though we may think them at distance,

Yet still they are spiritually nigh. There yet is an unbroken union,

Though mortality's curtain may fall; And souls may keep up their communion,

Through the God of the spirits of all!

[ocr errors]

TO THE EVENING PRIMROSE. Fair flower, that shunn'st the glare of day,

Yet loy'st to open, meekly bold, To evening's hues of sober gray

Thy cup of paly gold;

F

Be thine the offering owing long

To thee, and to this pensive hour, Of one brief tributary song,

Though transient as thy flower. I love to watch at silent eve,

Thy scatter'd blossoms' lonely light, And have my inmost heart receive

The influence of that sight.

גש

5

I love at such an hour to mark

Their beauty greet the night breeze chill, And shine, inid shadows gathering dark,

The garden's glory still.

O

For such, 'tis sweet to think the while,

When cares and griefs the breast invade, Is friendship's animating smile

In sorrow's dark’ning shade.

Thus it bursts forth, like thy pale cup

Glist’ning amid its dewy tears, And bears the sinking spirit up

Amid its chilling fears. Bat still more animating far,

If meek Religion's eye may trace,
Even in thy glimm’ring earth-born star,

The lolier hope of Grace.
The hope—that as thy beauteous bloom

Expands to glad the close of day,
So through the shadows of the tomb

May break forth Mercy's ray.

1

AUTUM

VERSES WRITTEN AFTER RETURNING FROM AN

NAL MORNING WALK.

It is the very carnival of nature,

The loveliest season that the year can show!
When earth, obedient to her great Creator,

Her richest boons delighteth to bestow.
The gently-sighing breezes, as they blow,

Have more than vernal softness; and the sun
Sheds on the landscape round a mellower glow

Than in his summer splendour he has done,
As if he near'd his goal, and knew the race was won.
It is the season when the green delight

Of leafy luxury begins to fade!
When leaves are changing daily to the sight,

Yet seem but lovelier from each deepening shade,
Or tint, by autumn's touch upon them laid ;

It is the reason when each streamlet's sound,
Flowing through lonely vale, or woody glade,

Assumes a tone more penisive, more profound ;
And yet that hoarser voice spreads melody around.
And I have wander'd far, since the bright east

Was glorious with the dawning light of day;
Seeing as that effulgence more increas'd,

The mists of morning slowly melt away:
And, as I pass'd along, from every spray,

With dew-drops glistening, ever niore have heard
Some feather'd songster chant his roundelay;

Or bleat of sheep, or lowing of the herd;
Or rustling of falln leaf, when morning's breezes stirr’d.
Thus having roam’d, and reach'd my home at last,

Can I do better, while my bosoins glows,
With all the loveliness through which I've pass’d,

Even till enjoyment wishes for repose,
And meditation still with memory grows:

Can I do better than once more to trim My evening fire, and these my labours close,

Before my feelings chill, or sense wax dim, With solemn strain of prayer, fit for a parting hymn? "O God! it is an awful thing indeed

For one who estimates our nature well,
Be what it may his outward sect, or creed,

To name thee, thou Incomprehensible!
Hadst thou not chosen of thyself to tell,

As in thy gospel thou hast done; nor less,
By condescending in our hearts to dwell;

Could man have ever found to thee access,
Or worshipp'd thee aright, in spiritual holiness?

“No! for the utmost that we could have done,

Were to have rais'd, as Paul at Athens saw, Altars upto the dread and unknown One,

Bending before, we knew not what, with awe;
And even now instructed by a law

Holier than that of Moses, what know we
Of thee, the Highest? Yet thou bidd'st us draw

Near thee in spirit: () then pardon me,
If, in this closing strain, I crave a boon of thee.

“ It shall be this: permit me not to place

My soul's affections on the things of earth; But, conscious of the treasures of thy grace,

To let them, in my inmost heart, give birth To gratitude proportion'u to their worth:

Teach me to feel that all which thou hast made Upon this mighty globe's gigantic girth,

Though meant with filial love to be survey'd, Is nothing to thyself: the shadow of a shade.

“If thou hast given me, more than unto some,

A feeling sense of nature's beauties fair, Which sometimes renders admiration dumb,

From consciousness that words cannot declare The beauty thou hast scatter'd every where;

O grant that this may lead me still, through all Thy works to thee! nor prove a treacherous snare

Adapted those affections to enthral, Which should be thine alone, and waken at thy call.

“ I would not merely dream my life away

In fancied rapture, or imagin'd joy ;
Nor that a perfum'd flower, a dew-geminid spray,

A murmuring brook, or any prouder toy,
Should, for its own sake, thought or song employ;

So far alone as nature's charms can lead
To thee, who fram'd them all, and canst destroy,

Or innocent enjoyment serve to feed;
Grant me to gaze and love, and thus thy works to read.

“ But while from one extreme thy power may keep

My erring fraility, O preserve ine still From dulness, nor let cold indifference steep

My senses in oblivion : it' the thrill Of early bliss must sober, as it will,

And should, when earthly things to heavenly yield. I would have feelings left, time cannot chill;

That, while I yet can walk through grove or field, I

may be conscious there of charms by thee reveal’d.

“ And when I shall, as, soon or late, I must,

Becoine infirm: in age, if I grow old ;
Or, sooner, if my strength should fail its trust;

When I relinquish haunts where I have stroll'd
At morn or ere, and can no more behold

Thy glnrious works : forbid me to repine;
Let memory still their loveliness unfold

Before my mental eye, and let them shine
With borrow'd light from thee, for they are thine !"

VERSES TO THE MEMORY OF A CHILD OF SUPERIOR IN

DOWMENTS AND EXTRAORDINARY PIETY.

It is not length of years which lends

The brightest loveliness to those,
Whose memory with our being blends,

Whose worth within our bosoms glows.

The age we honor standeth not

In locks of snow, or length of days;
But in a life, which knows no spot,

A heart, which heavenly wisdom sways.

For wisdom, which is taught by truth,

Unlike mere worldly knowledge, finds
Its full maturity in youth,

Its image e'en in infant minds.

Thus was this child made early wise,

Wise as those sages, who, from far,
Beheld, in Bethlehem's cloudless skies,

The Christian church's gathering star.

What more could wisdom do for them,

Than guide them in the path they trod ?
And the same star of Bethlehem

Hath led his spirit home to God!

Well
may
his memory

be dear,
Whose loss is still its sole alloy,
Whose happy lot dries every tear

With holy hopes and humble joy.

“The brightest star of morning's host,"

Is that which shines in twilight skies;
“Scarce risen, in brighter beams 't is lost,"

And vanishes from mortal eyes.

« ElőzőTovább »