Page images
PDF
EPUB

With burnish'd ivy for its screen,

And moss, that glows as fresh and green
As though beneath an April cloud.—

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
We sometimes see alight

A a

On Christian mourners, while they wait
In silence, by some church-yard gate,
Their summons to the holy rite.

And such the tones of love, which break
The stillness of that hour,

Quelling th' embitter'd spirit's strife—
"The Resurrection and the Life

"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,
Through prayer unto the tomb,
Still, as ye watch life's falling leaf,
Gathering from every loss and grief
Hope of new spring and endless home.

Then cheerly to your work again
With hearts new-brac'd and set
To run, untir'd, love's blessed race,
As meet for those, who face to face

Over the grave their Lord have met.

CHURCHING OF WOMEN.

Is there, in bowers of endless spring,
One known from all the seraph band
By softer voice, by smile and wing

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,"
Fresh from the perilous birth,

To the great Father lifts her pale glad eye,
Like a reviving flower when storms are hush'd on high.

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,
Would sicken, but she leans on Thee,
Sees Thee by faith on Mary's breast,
And breathes serene and free.

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

laid!

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.

« PreviousContinue »