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With burnish'd ivy for its screen,
And moss, that glows as fresh and green
Who says the widow's heart must break,
The childless mother sink?—
A kinder truer voice I hear,
Which even beside that mournful bier
Whence parents' eyes would hopeless shrink,
Bids weep no more-O heart bereft,
How strange, to thee, that sound!
A widow o'er her only son,
Feeling more bitterly alone
For friends that press officious round.
Yet is the voice of comfort heard,
For Christ hath touch'd the bierThe bearers wait with wondering eye, The swelling bosom dares not sigh, But all is still, 'twixt hope and fear.
Even such an awful soothing calm
On Christian mourners, while they wait
And such the tones of love, which break
Quelling th' embitter'd spirit's strife—
"Am I believe, and die no more."
Unchang'd that voice—and though not yet The dead sit up and speak,
Answering its call; we gladlier rest
Our darlings on earth's quiet breast,
And our hearts feel they must not break.
Far better they should sleep awhile
Within the church's shade,
Nor wake, until new heaven, new earth,
Meet for their new immortal birth
For their abiding place be made,
Than wander back to life, and lean
On our frail love once more.
'Tis sweet, as year by year we lose Friends out of sight, in faith to muse How grows in Paradise our store.
Then pass, ye mourners, cheerly on,
Then cheerly to your work again
Over the grave their Lord have met.
CHURCHING OF WOMEN.
Is there, in bowers of endless spring,
More exquisitely bland!
Here let him speed: to-day this hallow'd air Is fragrant with a mother's first and fondest prayer.
Only let Heaven her fire impart,
No richer incense breathes on earth:
"A spouse with all a daughter's heart,"
To the great Father lifts her pale glad eye,
O what a treasure of sweet thought
Is here! what hope and joy and love
All in one tender bosom brought,
For the all-gracious Dove
To brood o'er silently, and form for heaven Each passionate wish and dream to dear affection given.
Her fluttering heart, too keenly blest,
Slight tremblings only of her veil declarea
Soft answers duly whisper'd to each soothing prayer.
We are too weak, when Thou dost bless,
To bear the joy-help, Virgin-born!
By thine own mother's first caress,
That wak'd thy natal morn!
Help, by the unexpressive smile, that made
A heaven on earth around the couch where Thou wast
a When the woman comes to this office, the rubric (as it was altered at the last review, directs that she be decently apparelled, i. e. as the custom and order was formerly, with a white covering or veil. Wheatley on the Common Prayer, c. xiii. sect. i. 3.