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Senseless or passionless to be.
O lady! 'tis a dread respect
Of thy majestic intellect;
A sense of awe which makes me bow
Before thy voice, before thy brow,
In reverence for that depth of mind
So richly stored, so disciplined
To the full use of all its powers,
By patient thought and studious hours;
And, more than this, a consciousness,
Too deep for language to express,
Of that most perfect holiness
Which God himself in thee hath wrought
Through years of calm religious thought,
Through study deep and constant prayer,
Through trials dark, through grief and care,
Through contemplation pure and high,
Through many a well won victory
With toil and pain achieved o'er sin,
Enfranchising the depths within
From all dominion but his own,
And slowly building up a throne
In thy pure soul, whereon he may
Himself reign paramount for aye.
'Tis true, elsewhere I may have found
So chasten'd as they are in thee
By fervent Christianity:
Thy reason calm, thy faith intense,
Thy clear and bright intelligence;
And all this with a woman's heart,
Framed perfectly in every part,
And rich in sympathies of earth —
The love that gladdens home and hearth—
The prudence mild—the sense discreet—
The household smile so bright and sweet—
The sweeter tears, so prompt to flow,
Not for thine own but others' woe;
The grace which clothes in fairest dress
All this thine other loveliness;
In voice and look, in mind and heart,
Lady, how beautiful thou art!
And I,—should not this soul of mine Feel as it doth rebuked by thine? This soul, which howsoe'er endued With capabilities of good, With powers of thought, and feeling high, And some bright gleams of phantasy, Did, in the morn of life's brief day, Cast all its better gifts away; Waste half its brightest years on earth In cares and pleasures little worth, Leaving itself untutor'd still, Unpurified from moral ill, Unfurnish'd with the needful store Of earthly or of heavenly lore,
Its headstrong passions unsubdued,
Its carnal spirit unrenew'd,
Each talent unimproved, or given
To things on earth, not things in heaven '.
Myself the slave, the creature still
Of self indulgence and blind will.
0 lady, look not at my heart, For, all benignant as thou art,
Thou couldst not choose but love me less, Couldst thou behold, or know, or guess Its yet too great unworthiness.
And wilt thou love me less? Ah me,
I yet retain beneath the sun!
But that, howe'er thy soul may grieve
Forgive me, then, that I so oft
Provoking me by gentlest force
To intellectual discourse;
Yet sit, as seems, regardless by
In helpless taciturnity.
Think of me as of one whose seat
Should be for ever at thy feet;
As one who fain would learn of then,
In most sincere humility,
Yea, like a meek and docile child,
Religion pure and undefiled;
As one whom God to thee hath given,
A friend to be prepared for Heaven.
TO MARGARET IN HEAVEN.
I Loved thee not, I knew thee not, I never heard thy name,
Till they told me that thy spirit pure had left its mortal frame:
Thy voice, thy smile, thy pleasant ways can never be to me
The treasures which they are to some of mournful memory:
When I gaze into the throng'd abyss of youth's departed years,
Amidst the forms that meet me there no trace of thee appears;
And if I strive to picture thee to Fancy's inward eye, I see indeed a shadowy dream of beauty flitting by; A thoughtful brow, a look lit up by faith and love
divine, But not the true, the mortal brow, the look that
once was thine.
ii. And shalt thou then depart from earth, and take thy
shining place Among the brightest daughters of our lost and ran
som'd race, Without one passing thought from me, one feeling
of regret Unfelt for other Christian saints whose eyes and
mine ne'er met? Shall I hear of all thy patient pangs, thy meekly
Yet think of thee as merely one who died a Christian death ?— Undistinguished in my mental eye from all the
sainted dead, Whose souls the spirit cleansed from sin, for-whom
the Saviour bled? And, if we meet hereafter, in the mansions of the
blest, Shall I then by no assured mark discern thee from
in. Not so; we two are strangers, we were never
friends on earth;