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One moment her pale lips trembled
With the triumph she might not tell,
On her spirit's vision fell;
And the beautiful smile was faint,
On the face of a dying saint.
And we felt in the lonesome midnight,
As we sat by the silent dead,
The feet of the righteous shed.
She came to the Jordan's tide,
Went up on the heavenly side.
cxxxvi THE DYING CHRISTIAN TO HIS SOUL
Vital spark of heavenly flame!
Quit, O quit this mortal frame:
Trembling, hoping, lingering, flying,
O, the pain, the bliss of dying!
Hark! they whisper; Angels say,
Sister spirit, come away.
What is this absorbs me quite?
Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
The world recedes, it disappears!
With sounds seraphic ring:
O death! where is thy sting?
cxxxvn THE REAPER AND THE FLOWERS
There is a Reaper, whose name is Death,
And, with his sickle keen,
And the flowers that grow between.
"Shall I have nought that is fair?" saith he;
"Have nought but the bearded grain? Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,
I will give them all back again."
He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes,
He kiss'd their drooping leaves, It was for the Lord of Paradise
He bound them in his sheaves.
"My Lord has need of these flow'rets gay,"
The Reaper said, and smiled; "Dear tokens of the earth are they,
Where He was once a child.
"They shall all bloom in fields of light,
Transplanted by my care,
These sacred blossoms wear."
And the mother gave, in tears and pain,
The flowers she most did love;
In the fields of light above.
O, not in cruelty, not in wrath,
The Reaper came that day;
And took the flowers away.
H. W. Longfellow
ON THE DEA TH OF A FAIR INFANT
O, fairest flower! no sooner blown but blasted,
Yet can I not persuade me thou art dead,
Or that thy corse corrupts in earth's dark womb,
Or that thy beauties lie in wormy bed,
Hid from the world in a low delved tomb;
Could Heaven for pity thee so strictly doom?
O no, for something in thy face did shine
O! wert thou of the golden winged host,
Thereby to set the hearts of men on fire
Then thou the mother of so sweet a child,
This if thou do, He will an offering give, That till the world's last end shall make thy name to live.
Thou art gone to the grave! but we will not deplore
thee, Though sorrows and darkness encompass the tomb, The Saviour hath past through its portal before
thee, And the lamp of His love is thy guide through the gloom.
Thou art gone to the grave! we no longer behold
thee, Nor tread the rough path of the world by thy side; But the wide arms of mercy are spread to enfold
thee, And sinners may hope, since the Sinless has died.
Thou art gone to the grave! and, its mansion forsaking,
Perchance thy weak spirit in doubt linger'd long;
But the sunshine of Heav'n beam'd bright on thy waking,
And the sound which thou heard'st was the Seraphim's song.
Thou art gone to the grave! but 'twere vain to
deplore thee, When God was thy ransom, thy Guardian, and
Guide; He gave thee, He took thee, and He will restore
thee, And death hath no sting, since the Saviour has died.
THE BURIAL ANTHEM
Brother, thou art gone before us,
Where tears are wiped from every eye,