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With burnish'd ivy for its screen,
As though beneath an April cloud.
Who says the widow's heart must break,
The childless mother sink ?--
Whence parents' eyes would hopeless shrink,
Bids weep no more heart bereft,
How strange, to thee, that sound !
The friends that press officious round.
Yet is the voice of comfort heard,
For Christ hath touch'd the bierThe bearers wait with wondering eye, The swelling bosom dares not sigh,
But all is still, 'twixt hope and fear.
Even such an awful soothing calm
We sometimes see alight
On Christian mourners while they wait,
Their summons to the holy rite.
And such the tones of love, which break
The stillness of that hour, Quelling th' embitter'd spirit's strife “ The Resurrection and the Life
“Am I: believe, and die no more.”
Unchang'd that voice--and though not yet
The dead sit up and speak, Answering its call; we gladlier rest Our darlings on earth's quiet breast,
And our hearts feel they must not break.
Far better they should sleep awhile
Within the church's shade, Nor wake, until new heaven, new earth, Meet for their new immortal birth
For their abiding place be made,
Then wander back to life, and lean
On our frail love once more.
'Tis sweet, as year by year we lose Friends out of sight, in faith to muse
How grows in Paradise our store.
Then pass, ye mourners, cheerly on,
Through prayer unto the tomb, Still, as ye watch life's falling leaf, Gathering from every loss and grief
Hope of new spring and endless home.
Then cheerly to your work again
With hearts new-brac'd and set To run, untir'd, love's blessed race, As meet for those, who face to face
Over the grave their Lord have met.
CHURCHING OF WOMEN.
Is there, in bowers of endless spring,
One known from all the seraph band
More exquisitely bland !
Only let Heaven her fire impart,
No richer incense breathes on earth : “A spouse with all a daughter's heart,"
Fresh from the perilous birth, To the great Father lifts her pale glad eye, Like a reviving flower when storms are hush'd on high.
O what a treasure of sweet thought
Is here! what hope of joy and love
All in one tender bosom brought,
For the all-gracious Dove To brood o'er silently, and form for heaven Each passionate wish and dream to dear affection
Her fluttering heart, too keenly blest,
Would sicken, but she leans on Thee,
And breathes serene and free.
We are too weak, when Thou dost bless,
To bear the joy-help Virgin-born!
That wak'd thy natal morn!
a When the woman comes to this office, the rubric (as it was altered at the last review, directs that she be decently apparelled, i.e. as the custom and order was formerly, with a white covering or veil. Wheatley on the Common Prayer, c. xiii. sect. i. 3.