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By the drum’s dull muffled sound,
In his manhood's pride.
By the chanted psalm that fills
To his last repose.
By the pall of snowy white
Broken is the rose !
Which is the tenderest rite of all ?
Herdsman's funeral hymn ?
Tells not each of human woe?
Ere life’s day grow dim!
* A custom still retained at rural funerals in some parts of England and Wales.
THE rose was in rich bloom on Sharon's plain,
Waned to the farewell moment, when the boy
“ Alas!” she cried,
“ Alas! my boy, thy gentle grasp is on me,
And now fond thoughts arise,
How shall I hence depart?
“ How the lone paths retrace where thou wert
And I, in joyous pride,
Beholding thee so fair!
“ And, oh! the home whence thy bright smile hath
parted, Will it not seem as if the sunny day
Turn'd from its door away? While through its chambers wandering, weary
hearted, I languish for thy voice, which past me still
Went like a singing rill ?
“ Under the palm-trees thou no more shalt meet
me, When from the fount at evening I return,
With the full water-urn; Nor will thy sleep's low dove-like breathings greet
me, As midst the silence of the stars I wake,
And watch for thy dear sake.
“ And thou, will slumber's dewy cloud fall round
thee, Without thy mother's hand to smooth thy bed?
Wilt thou not vainly spread Thine arms, when darkness as a veil hath wound
thee, To fold my neck, and lift up, in thy fear,
A cry which none shall hear ?
“ What have I said, my child! Will He not hear
thee, Who the young ravens heareth from their nest ?
Shall He not guard thy rest, And, in the hush of holy midnight near thee, Breathe o'er thy soul, and fill its dreams with joy?
Thou shalt sleep soft, my boy.
“ I give thee to thy God—the God that gave thee, A well-spring of deep gladness to my heart !
And, precious as thou art, And pure as dew of Hermon, He shall have thee, My own, my beautiful, my undefiled!
And thou shalt be His child.
“ Therefore, farewell! I go—my soul may
fail me, As the heart panteth for the water brooks,
Yearning for thy sweet looks. But thou, my first-born, droop not, nor bewail me; Thou in the Shadow of the Rock shalt dwell,
The Rock of Strength.-Farewell !”
All night the booming minute-gun
Had peal'd along the deep,
Look'd o'er the tide-worn steep.
Before the raging blast,
And bow'd her noble mast.
The queenly ship!-brave hearts had striven,
And true ones died with her!
Like floating gossamer.
A star once o'er the seas,-
And sadder things than these!
We saw her treasures cast away,
The rocks with pearls were sown ; And, strangely sad, the ruby's ray
Flash'd out o'er fretted stone.