Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

-See! here lamented wives, and every wife
The pride and comfort of her husband's life;
Here, to her spouse, with every virtue graced,
His mournful widow has a trophy placed ;
And here 'tis doubtful if the duteous son,
Or the good father, be in praise outdone.
This

may be nature; when our friends we lose,
Our alter'd feelings alter too our views;
What in their tempers teased us or distress'd,
Is, with our anger and the dead, at rest;
And much we grieve, no longer trial made,
For that impatience which we then display'd;
Now to their love and worth of

every

kind
A soft compunction turns th' afflicted mind;
Virtues neglected then, adored become,
And graces slighted, blossom on the tomb.

'Tis well; but let not love nor grief believe
That we assent (who neither loved nor grieve)
To all that praise which on the tomb is read,
To all that passion dictates for the dead;
But more indignant, we the tomb deride,
Whose bold inseription flattery sells to pride.
Read of this Burgess

on the stone appear
How worthy he! how virtuous ! and how dear!
What wailing was there when his spirit fled,
How mourn'd his lady for her lord when dead,
And tears abundant through the town were shed;
See ! he was liberal, kind, religious, wise,
And free from all disgrace and all disguise;
His sterling worth, which words cannot express,
Lives with his friends, their pride and their distress.

All this of Jacob Holmes ? for his the name;
He thus kind, liberal, just, religious ?-shame!
What is the truth? Old Jacob married thrice;
He dealt in coals, and av'rice was his vice;
He ruled the Borough when his year came on,
And some forget, and some are glad he's gone ;
For never yet with shilling could he part,
But when it left his hand, it struck his heart.

Yet, here will love its last attentions pay,
And place memorials on these beds of clay.
Large level stones lie flat upon the grave,
And half a century's sun and tempest brave;
But many an honest tear and heartfelt sigh
Have follow'd those who now unnoticed lie;
Of these what numbers rest on every side!
Without one token left by grief or pride ;
Their graves soon levelld to the earth, and then
Will other hillocks rise o'er other men;
Daily the dead on the decay'd are thrust,
And generations follow, “ dust to dust.”

Yes! there are real mourners--I have seen
A fair, sad girl, mild, suffering, and serene ;

Attention (through the day) her duties claimd,
And to be useful as resign'd she aim'd:
Neatly she dress’d, nor vainly seem'd t'expect
Pity for grief, or pardon for neglect;
But when her wearied parents sunk to sleep,
She sought her place to meditate and weep:
Then to her mind was all the past display'd,
That faithful memory brings to sorrow's aid:
For then she thought on one regretted youth,
Her tender trust, and his unquestion'd truth;
In ev'ry place she wander'd, where they'd been,
And sadly-sacred held the parting-scene;
Where last for sea he took his leave—that place
With double interest would she nightly trace;
For long the courtship was, and he would say,
Each time he saild,—“ This once, and then the day :"
Yet prudence tarried, but when last he went,
He drew from pitying love a full consent.

Happy he sail'd, and great the care she took,
That he should softly sleep, and smartly look ;
White was his better linen, and his check
Was made more trim than any on the deck ;
And every comfort men at sea can know
Was hers to buy, to make, and to bestow :
For he to Greenland sail'd, and much she told,
How he should guard against the climate's cold;

66

Yet saw not danger; dangers he'd withstood,
Nor could she trace the fever in his blood :
His messmates smiled at flushings in his cheek,
And he too smiled, but seldom would he speak;
For now he found the danger, felt the pain,
With grievous symptoms he could not explain ;
Hope was awaken'd, as for home he sail'd,
But quickly sank, and never more prevail d.

He call’d his friend, and prefaced with a sigh
A lover's message—“ Thomas, I must die:
“ Would I could see my Sally, and could rest

My throbbing temples on her faithful breast, “ And gazing go!—if not, this trifle take, 66 And

say,

till death I wore it for her sake; “ Yes! I must die—blow on, sweet breeze, blow on! “ Give me one look, before my life be gone, “Oh! give me that, and let me not despair, - One last fond look-and now repeat the prayer.”

He had his wish, had more; I will not paint
The lovers' meeting: she beheld him faint,-
With tender fears, she took a nearer view,
Her terrors doubling as her hopes withdrew;
He tried to smile, and, half succeeding, said,
“ Yes! I must die;" and hope for ever fled.

Still long she nursed him: tender thoughts meantime Were interchanged, and hopes and views sublime.

To her he came to die, and every day
She took some portion of the dread away;
With him she pray'd, to him his Bible read,
Soothed the faint heart, and held the aching head:
She came with smiles the hour of pain to cheer;
Apart she sigh’d; alone, she shed the tear;
Then, as if breaking from a cloud, she gave
Fresh light, and gilt the prospect of the grave.

One day he lighter seem'd, and they forgot
The care, the dread, the anguish of their lot;
They spoke with cheerfulness, and seemd to think,
Yet said not so—“ Perhaps he will not sink :"
A sudden brightness in his look appear'd,
A sudden vigour in his voice was heard ;-
She had been reading in the Book of Prayer,
And led him forth, and placed him in his chair;
Lively he seem'd, and spoke of all he knew,
The friendly many, and the favourite few;
Nor one that day did he to mind recall
But she has treasured, and she loves them all;
When in her way she meets them, they appear
Peculiar people—death has made them dear.
He named his friend, but then his hand she press’d,
And fondly whisperid, “ Thou must go to rest;"

I go,” he said ; but as he spoke, she found His hand more cold, and fluttering was the sound !

« AnteriorContinuar »