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Her form was bow'd, but not with years,
Her words were faint and few,
And on those little graves her tears
Distill'd like evening dew.
A prattling boy, some four years old,
Her trembling hand embrac'd,
And from my heart the tale he told
Will never be effac'd.
"Mamma, now you must love me more, For little sister's dead;
And t'other sister died before,
And brother too, you said.
"Mamma, what made sweet sister die?
She lov'd me when we play'd:
You told me if I would not cry,
You'd shew me where she's laid."
"Tis here, my child, that sister lies,
Deep buried in the ground:
No light comes to her little eyes,
And she can hear no sound.”
"Mamma, why can't we take her up,
And put her in my bed?
I'll feed her from my little cup,
And then she won't be dead.
"For sister 'll be afraid to lie
In this dark grave to-night,
And she'll be very cold, and cry,
Because there is no light."
"No, sister is not cold, my child;
For God, who saw her die,
As he look'd down from heaven and smiled, Recall'd her to the sky.
"And then her spirit quickly fled
To God, by whom 'twas given;
Her body in the ground is dead,
But sister lives in heaven."
"Mamma, won't she be hungry there,
And want some bread to eat?
And who will give her clothes to wear,
And keep them clean and neat?
Papa must go and carry some;
I'll send her all I've got;
And he must bring sweet sister home,
Mamma now must he not?"
"No, my dear child, that cannot be;
But if you're good and true,
You'll on day go to her; but she
Can never come to you.
"Let little children come to me,'
Once our good Saviour said,
And in his arms she'll always be,
And God will give her bread."
INJURIOUS TO MAN, AND OFFENSIVE TO GOD.
O MOST degrading of all ills that wait
On man, a mourner in his best estate!
All other sorrows virtue may endure,
And find submission more than half a cure;
Grief is itself a medicine, and bestow'd
T'improve the fortitude that bears the load;
To teach the wanderer, as his woes increase,
The path of wisdom, all whose paths are peace;
But Slavery! virtue dreads it as her grave:
Patience itself is meanness in a slave;
Or if the will and sovereignty of God
Bid suffer it awhile, and kiss the rod,
Wait for the dawning of a brighter day,
And snap the chain the moment when you may.
Nature imprints upon whate'er we see,
That has a heart and life in it, Be free!
The beasts are charter'd—neither
age nor force
Can quell the love of freedom in a horse;
He breaks the cord that held him at the rack;
And, conscious of an unincumber'd back,
Snuffs up the morning air, forgets the rein;
Loose fly his forelock and his ample mane;
Responsive to the distant neigh he neighs;
Nor stops, till overleaping all delays,
He finds the pasture where his fellows graze.
Can'st thou, and honour'd with a Christian name,
Buy what is woman-born, and feel no shame;
Trade in the blood of innocence, and plead
Expedience as a warrant for the deed?
may the wolf, whom famine has made bold
To quit the forest and invade the fold:
So may the ruffian, who, with ghostly glide,
Dagger in hand, steals close to your bed-side;
Not he, but his emergence, forc'd the door,
He found it inconvenient to be poor.
Has God then given its sweetness to the cane,
Unless his laws be trampled on—in vain ?
Built a brave world, which cannot yet subsist,
Unless his right to rule it be dismiss'd?
Impudent blasphemy! so folly pleads,
And, avarice being judge, with ease succeeds.
YE glorious pageants! hung in air
To greet our raptur'd view;
What in creation can compare
For loveliness, with you?
This earth is beautiful, indeed,
And in itself appeals
To eyes that have been taught to read
The beauties it reveals.
Its giant mountains, which ascend
To your exalted sphere,
And seem at times with you to blend
In majesty austere :
Its lovely valleys, forests vast;
Its rivers, lakes, and seas;
With every glance upon them cast,
The sight, the sense must please.
When through the eastern gates of heaven
The sun's first glories shine;
Or when his gentlest beams are given
To gild the day's decline;
All glorious as that orb appears,
His radiance still would lose
Each gentle charm, that most endears,
Without your softening hues.
When these with his refulgent rays
Who on your splendid pomp can gaze,
Nor feel a hush'd delight?
'Tis then, if to the raptur'd eye
Her aid the fancy brings,
In you our vision can descry
Not merely mountains, cliffs, and caves,
Domes, battlements, and towers,
Torrents of light that fling their waves
O'er coral rocks and bowers;
Not only what to man is known
In nature, or in art:
But objects which on earth can own
No seeming counterpart.
As once the seer in Patmos saw
Heaven's opening door reveal'd,
And scenes inspiring love and awe
To his rapt sight unseal'd
So, in a faint and low degree,
Through your unfoldings bright,
Phantoms of glory yet to be
Dawn on the wond'ring sight.
TO MY DAUGHTER,
ON THE MORNING OF HER BIRTH-DAY.
HAIL to this teeming stage of strife-
Hail, lovely miniature of life!
Pilgrim of many cares untold!
Lamb of the world's extended fold!
Fountain of hopes, and doubts, and fears!
Sweet promise of extatic years!
How fainly would I bend the knee,
And turn idolater to thee!