Lament of a Mother for the Death of Her Child


A dew-drop on a wither’d leaf,
As bright, as lovely, and as brief,
Thy being was—thou camest from heaven,
Like dew-drops on the car of even;
Where blush’d the morning’s early ray,
Thou, beauteous one, wert pass’d away!
If thou hadst liv’d, thou fragile flower,
To soothe me in mine hour of wo,
Oh! not as now would grief have power
To rend this aching bosom so!
I fondly hoped that thou would’st be
All that thy sire was erst to me;
But thou art dead, beloved, and I
Care not how soon with thee I lie;—
The grave indeed were a welcome bed,
For this throbbing heart, and this aching head.

The beam that lights the crystal tear
Which glistens on the woodland rose,
Ere yet dissolv’d to viewless air,
Upward again to heaven it goes—
Pure as that beam, that tear, my child,
Wert thou, when last thou look’dst on me,
And thy pale lips so sweetly smiled,
As if Death wore no frown for thee:
And then—(Oh God! why hast thou dealt
Such anguish to the widow’s breast?)
While mutely by thy couch I knelt,
And thy cold cheek to mine was prest,
Without a sigh, without a groan,
Thy spirit fled—my son! my son!

Thou art in yonder heaven now,
A cherub near th’ Eternal’s throne—
Oh! teach my heart to bear the blow
That leaves me here on earth alone!
I should not weep—but tears will flow,
Whene’er my thoughts are backward cast;
That thou art bless’d I know—I know—
But ah! I can’t forget the past!
I can’t forget that I’m bereft
Of all that form’d my solace here;
Naught, naught, in life, to me is left
But frenzy’s dream, and memory’s tear!

Come, on the wings of slumber, come,
Thou bright one! from thy place of rest!
Descend from thine eternal home,
Again to soothe thy mother’s breast!—
Dispel these clouds of doubt and gloom
That gather round the mourner’s brow;
Tell her of hope beyond the tomb—
Oh, be her guardian angel now!

I’ll not provoke thy wrath, my God!
By murmuring at thy righteous will;
I strive to kiss the chastening rod,
But nature speaks in anguish still:
These rending sobs I cannot hush—
These burning tears I cannot smother;
There is a voice in every gush.
Proclaims I am—no! was—a mother!

Death! thou hast quench’d the only beam
That glimmer’d on life’s stormy wave;
Thou’st left me childless on the stream
That rushes darkly to the grave;
Yet, yet, I triumph o’er thee, Death,
And rise above thy poor control!
Thy touch may chill the ebbing breath—
Thou canst not quell th’ immortal soul!
And while the tempest round me rages,
I know there’s rest, at last, in heaven;
My faith is on the Rock OF A GES ,
The glorious Promise G OD hath given.


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