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One moment her pale lips trembled

With the triumph she might not tell,
As the sight of the life immortal

On her spirit's vision fell;
Then the look of rapture faded,

And the beautiful smile was faint,
As that, in some convent picture,

On the face of a dying saint.

And we felt in the lonesome midnight,

As we sat by the silent dead,
What a light on the path going downward

The feet of the righteous shed.
Then we thought how, with faith unshrinking,

She came to the Jordan's tide,
And, taking the hand of the Saviour,

Went up on the heavenly side.

Phoebe Carey

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!
Cease, fond Nature, cease thy strife,
And let me languish into life.

Hark! they whisper; Angels say,

Sister spirit, come away.

What is this absorbs me quite?

Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
Drowns my spirit, draws my breath?
Tell me, my soul, can this be death?

The world recedes, it disappears!
Heaven opens on my eyes! my ears

With sounds seraphic ring:
Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
O grave! where is thy victory?

O death! where is thy sting?

A. Pope

cxxxvn THE REAPER AND THE FLOWERS

There is a Reaper, whose name is Death,

And, with his sickle keen,
He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,

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.

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"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,
And saints, upon their garments white,

These sacred blossoms wear."

And the mother gave, in tears and pain,

The flowers she most did love;
She knew she should find them all again

In the fields of light above.

O, not in cruelty, not in wrath,

The Reaper came that day;
'Twas an angel visited the green earth,

And took the flowers away.

H. W. Longfellow

CXXXVIII

ON THE DEA TH OF A FAIR INFANT

O, fairest flower! no sooner blown but blasted,
Soft silken primrose fading tunelessly,
Summer's chief honour, if thou had'st outlasted
Bleak winter's force that made thy blossom dry;
For he, being amorous of that lovely dye
That did thy cheek envermeil, sought to kiss,
ut kill'd, alas! and then bewail'd his fatal bliss.

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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
Above mortality, that show'd thou wast divine.

O! wert thou of the golden winged host,
Who having clad thyself in human weed
To earth, from thy prefixed seat didst post,
And after short abode fly back with speed,
As if to show what creatures Heaven doth breed;

Thereby to set the hearts of men on fire
To scorn the sordid world, and unto Heaven aspire?

Then thou the mother of so sweet a child,
Her false imagin'd loss cease to lament,
And wisely learn to curb thy sorrows wild;
Think what a present thou to God hast sent,
And render Him with patience what He lent:

This if thou do, He will an offering give, That till the world's last end shall make thy name to live.

J. Milton

cxxxix

FUNERAL HYMN

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.

Bishop Heber

CXL

THE BURIAL ANTHEM

Brother, thou art gone before us,
And thy saintly soul is flown

Where tears are wiped from every eye,
And sorrow is unknown.

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