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Grief sat upon my mother's brow: I heard her, as she kiss'il me, sigh, A tear stood in my father's eye; My little brothers round me press'd, In gay unthinking childhood bless'd. Long, long that hour has pass'd, but when Shall I forget its mournful scene?
The sabbath came—with mournful pace
I sought my brother's burial place—
That shrine, which when I last had view'd,
In vigour by my side he stood.
I gazed around with fearful eye—
All things reposed in sanctity.
I reach'd the chancel—nought was changed
The altar decently arranged—
The pure white cloth above the shrine—
The consecrated bread and wine—
AH was the same—I found no trace
Of sorrow in that holy place.
One hurried glance I downward gave—
My foot was on my brother's grave!
And years have pass'd, and thou art now
Forgotten in thy silent tomb,
My father's eye has lost its gloom,
Another victim by thy side;
But not more pure than thou he died.
My boyish days are nearly gone,
My breast is not unsullied now;
Cut their deep furrows on my brow —
And loved and link'd my heart with others; But who with mine his spirit blends,
As mine was blended with my brother's? When years of rapture glided by,
The spring of life's unclouded weather,
My brother, grew in love together.
In many a strain of grief and joy,
My youthful spirit sung to thee; But I am now no more a boy,
And there's a gulf 'twixt thee and me.
I start to find myself a man,
As only boyhood's spirit can.
To thoughts that held my heart in thrall, To cherish'd dreams of brightest hue,
And thee—the brightest dream of all. My footsteps rove not where they roved,
My home is changed, and, one by one, The "old, familiar" forms I loved
Are faded from my path—and gone. I launch into life's stormy main,
And 'tis with tears—but not of sorrow, That, pouring thus my parting strain,
I bid thee, as a Bride, good-morrow. Full well thou know'st I envy not
The heart it is thy choice to share: My soul dwells on thee, as a thought
With which no earthly wishes are.
I love thee as I love the star,
The gentle star that smiles at Even, That melts into my heart from far,
And leads my wandering thoughts to Heaven. Twould break my soul's divinest dream.
With meaner love to mingle thee; 'Twould dim the most unearthly beam
Thy form sheds o'er my memory. It is my joy, it is my pride
To picture thee in bliss divine; A happy and an honour'd bride,
Blest by a fonder love than mine.
A bliss by day—a dream by night,—
A cheering and a guiding light.
Disturbs his image at its core,
I'd not be loved, nor love thee, more. For thee each feeling of my breast
So holy—so serene shall be, That when thy heart to his is prest,
'Twill be no crime to think of me. I shall not wander forth at night,
To breathe thy name—as lovers would; Thy form, in visions of delight,
Not oft shall break my solitude. But when my bosom-friends are near,
And happy faces round me press,
The goblet to my lips I'll rear,
And drain it to thy happiness.
I commune with my God, alone,
I'll blend thy welfare with my own. And if, with pure and fervent sighs,
I bend before some loved one's shrine, When gazing on her gentle eyes,
I shall not blush to think of thine. Thou, when thou meet'st thy love's caress,
And when thy children climb thy knee, Jn thy calm hour of happiness,
Then sometimes—sometimes think of me. In pain or health—in grief or mirth,
Oh, may it to my prayer be given That we may sometimes meet on earth,
And meet, to part no more, in Heaven.