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Came by a look, so tranquilly divine!
-Let him, who thus hath seen the lovely part,
Hold well that image to his thoughtful heart !
But thou, fair slumberer! was there less of woe,
Or love, or terror, in the days of old,
That men pour’d out their gladdening spirit's low,
Like sunshine, on the desolate and cold,
And gave thy semblance to the shadowy king
Who for deep souls had then a deeper sting?
In the dark bosom of the earth they laid
Far more than we-for loftier faith is ours !
Their gems were lost in ashes-yet they made
The grave a place of beauty and of flowers,
With fragrant wreaths, and summer boughs array'd,
And lovely sculpture gleaming through the shade.
Is it for us a darker gloom to shed
O’er its dim precincts ?-do we not entrust
But for a time, its chambers with our dead,
And strew immortal seed upon the dust ?
-Why should we dwell on that which lies beneath,
When living light hath touch'd the brow of death?
No bitter tears for thee be shed,
Blossom of being ! seen and gone!
With flowers alone we strew thy bed,
O blest departed one!
Whose all of life, a rosy ray,
Blush'd into dawn, and pass'd away.
Yes! thou art fled, ere guilt had power
To stain thy cherub soul and form,
Closed is the soft ephemeral flower,
That never felt a storm !
The sunbeam's smile, the zephyr's breath,
All that it knew from birth to death.
Thou wert so like a form of light,
That Heaven benignly call’d thee hence,
Ere yet the world could breathe one blighit
O’er thy sweet innocence:
And thou, that brighter home to bless,
Art pass’d, with all thy loveliness !
Oh! hadst thou still on earth remain'd,
Vision of beauty ! fair, as brief!
How soon thy brightness had been stain'd
With passion or with gries!
Now not a sullying breath can rise,
To dim thy glory in the skies.
We rear no marble o'er thy tomb,
No sculptured image there shall mourn;
Ah! fitter far the vernal bloom
Such dwelling to adorn.
Fragrance, and flowers, and dews, must be
The only emblems meet for thee.
Thy grave shall be a blessed shrine,
Adorn'd with Nature's brightest wreath,
Each glowing season shall combine
Its incense there to breathe ;
And oft, upon the midnight air,
Shall viewless harps be murmuring there.
And oh! sometimes in visions blest,
Sweet spirit! visit our repose,
And bear from thine own world of rest,
Some balm for human woes !
What form more lovely could be given
Than thine, to messenger of Heaven?
Son of the ocean isle !
Where sleep your mighty dead ? Show me what high and stately pile
Is reard o'er Glory's bed.
Go, stranger! track the deep,
Free, free, the white sail spread ! Wave may not foam, nor wild wind sweep,
Where rest not England's dead.
On Egypt's burning plains,
By the pyramid o'ersway'd,
With fearful power the noon-day reigns,
And the palm-trees yield no shade.
But let the
angry sun From heaven look fiercely red, Unfelt by those whose task is done!
There slumber England's dead.