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'I gather them in, and their final rest
Is here, down here, in the earth's dark breast!"-
And the Sexton ceased as the funeral-train
Wound mutely over that solemn plain;
And I said to myself: When time is told,
A mightier voice than that sexton's old,
Will be heard o'er the last trump's dreadful din :
"I gather them in—I gather them in:
Gather-gather-gather them in !"
THE grave, it is deep and soundless,
And canopied over with clouds;
And trackless, and dim, and boundless
Is the unknown land that it shrouds.
In vain may the nightingales warble
Their songs-the roses of love
And friendship grow white on the marble
The living have reared above.
The virgin, bereft at her bridal
Of him she has loved, may weep; The wail of the orphan is idle,
It breaks not the buried one's sleep.
Yet everywhere else shall mortals
For peace unavailingly roam;
Except through the shadowy portals
Goeth none to his genuine home!
And the heart that tempest and sorrow
Have beaten against for years,
Must look for a happier morrow
Beyond this temple of tears.
J. G. VON SALIS. (Translated by J. MANGAN.)
If I had Thought.
F I had thought thou couldst have died,
I might not weep for thee;
But I forgot, when by thy side,
That thou couldst mortal be:
It never through my mind had past
The time would e'er be o'er,
And I on thee should look my last,
And thou shouldst smile no more!
And still upon that face I look,
And think 't will smile again;
And still the thought I will not brook,
That I must look in vain!
But when I speak-thou dost not say
What thou ne'er leftst unsaid;
And then I feel, as well I may,
Sweet Mary! thou art dead!
If thou couldst stay e'en as thou art,
All cold and all serene-
I still might press thy silent heart,
And where thy smiles have been!
While e'en thy chill bleak corse I have
Thou seemest still my own:
But there I lay thee in the grave—
And I am now alone!
I do not think, where'er thou art,
Thou hast forgotten me;
And I, perhaps, may soothe this heart,
In thinking, too, of thee.
Yet there was round thee such a dawn
Of light ne'er seen before,
As fancy never could have drawn,
And never can restore !
Thoughts while making the Grave of a New-born Child.
OOM, gentle flowers! my child would pass to
Ye looked not for her yet with your soft eyes,
O watchful ushers at Death's narrow door!
But lo! while you delay to let her forth,
Angels, beyond, stay for her! One long kiss
From lips all pale with agony, and tears,
Wrung after anguish had dried up with fire
The eyes that wept them, were the cup of life
Held as a welcome to her. Weep! oh mother!
But not that from this cup of bitterness
A cherub of the sky has turned away.
One look upon thy face ere thou depart!
My daughter! It is soon to let thee go!
My daughter! With thy birth has gushed a spring
I knew not of—filling my heart with tears,
And turning with strange tenderness to thee—
A love-oh God! it seemed so-that must flow
Far as thou fleest, and 't wixt heaven and me,
Henceforward, be a bright and yearning chain
Drawing me after thee! And so, farewell!
'Tis a harsh world, in which affection knows
No place to treasure up its loved and lost
But the foul grave! Thou, who so late wast sleeping
Warm in the close fold of a mother's heart,
Scarce from her breast a single pulse receiving
But it was sent thee with some tender thought,
How can I leave thee-here? Alas for man!
The herb in its humility may fall
And waste into the bright and genial air,
THOUGHTS WHILE MAKING A GRAVE. 301
While we-by hands that ministered in life
Nothing but love to us—are thrust away—
The earth flung in upon our just cold bosoms,
And the warm sunshine trodden out forever!
Yet have I chosen for thy grave, my child,
A bank where I have lain in summer hours,
And thought how little it would seem like death
To sleep amid such loveliness. The brook,
Tripping with laughter down the rocky steps
That lead up to thy bed, would still trip on,
Breaking the dread hush of the mourners gone;
The birds are never silent that build here,
Trying to sing down the more vocal waters:
The slope is beautiful with moss and flowers,
And far below, seen under arching leaves,
Glitters the warm sun on the village spire,
Pointing the living after thee. And this
Seems like a comfort; and, replacing now
The flowers that have made room for thee, I go
To whisper the same peace to her who lies—
Robbed of her child and lonely. 'Tis the work
Of many a dark hour, and of many a prayer,
To bring the heart back from an infant gone.
Hope must give o'er, and busy fancy blot
The images from all the silent rooms,
And every sight and sound peculiar to her
Undo its sweetest link-and so at last
The fountain-that, once struck, must flow forever,
Will hide and waste in silence. When the smile
Steals to her pallid lip again, and spring
Wakens the buds above thee, we will come,
And, standing by thy music-haunted grave,
Look on each other cheerfully, and say:
A child that we have loved is gone to heaven,
And by this gate of flowers she passed away!
NATHANIEL P. WILLIS.