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THE LOST LAMB.

A SHEPHERD laid upon his bed, With many a sigh, his aching head, For him-his favourite boy—to whom Death had been dealt-a sudden doom. “But yesterday," with sobs he cried, “ Thou wert, with sweet looks, at my

side Life's loveliest blossom, and to-day, Woe's me! thou liest a thing of clay ! It cannot be that thou art gone ; It cannot be that now, alone, A greyhaired man on earth am I, Whilst thou within its bosom lie? Methinks I see thee smiling there, With beaming eyes, and sunny hair, As thou wert wont, when fondling me, To clasp my neck from off

my

knee ! Was it thy voice? Again, oh speak, My son, or else my heart will break !"

Each adding to that father's woes, A thousand bygone scenes arose ;

At home-a-field-each with its joy,
Each with its smile--and all his boy!
Now swelled his proud rebellious breast,
With darkness and with doubt opprest,
Now sank despondent, while amain
Unnerving tears fell down like rain :
Air-air-he breathed, yet wanted breath-
It was not life-it was not death-
But the drear agony between,
Where all is heard, and felt, and seen-
The wheels of action set ajar ;
The body with the soul at war.
'Twas vain—'twas vain ; he could not find
A haven for his shipwreck'd mind;
Sleep shunn'd his pillow. Forth he went-
The moon from midnight's azure tent
Shone down, and, with serenest light,
Flooded the windless plains of night;
The lake in its clear mirror showed
Each little star that twinkling glowed ;
Aspens, that quiver with a breath,
Were stirless in that hush of death ;
The birds were nestled in their bowers ;
The dewdrops glittered on the flowers :
Almost it seemed as pitying Heaven
A while its sinless calm had given
To lower regions, lest despair
Should make abode for ever there ;
So softly pure, so calmly bright,
Brooded o'er earth the wings of night.

O'ershadowed by its ancient yew,
His sheep-cote met the shepherd's view;
And, placid, in that calm profound,
His silent flocks lay slumbering round:
With flowing mantle by his side,
Sudden, a stranger he espied ;
Bland was his visage, and his voice
Soften'd the heart, yet bade rejoice.-
“Why is thy mourning thus ?" he said,
“Why thus doth sorrow bow thy head ?
Why faltereth thus thy faith, that so
Abroad despairing thou dost go
As if the God, who gave thee breath,
Held not the keys of life and death !
When from the flocks that feed about,
A single lamb thou choosest out,
Is it not that which seemeth best
That thou dost take, yet leave the rest ?-
Yes ! such thy wont; and, even so,
With his choice little ones below
Doth the Good Shepherd deal ; he breaks
Their earthly bands, and homeward takes,
Early, ere sin hath render'd dim
The image of the seraphim !”

Heart-struck, the shepherd home return'd; Again within his bosom burn'd The light of faith ; and, from that day, He trode serene life's onward way.'

10

TO

THE BUST OF MY SON CHARLES.

Tender was the time,
When we two parted, ne'er to meet again!

HOME,

I.

Fair image of our sainted boy,

Whose beauty calmly shows,
Blent with life's sunny smiles of joy,

Death's most serene repose-
I gaze upon thee, overcast
With sweet, sad memories of the past;
Visions which owed to thee their birth,
And, for a while, made Heaven of earth,
Return again in hues of light,
To melt my heart, yet mock my sight,
And sink amid the rayless gloom,
Which shadows thy untimely tomb.
Our fair, fond boy ! and can it be,

That this pale mould of clay Is all that now remains of thee,

So loving, loved, and gay?

II.

The past awakens—thou art there

Before me, even now-
The silken locks of sunny hair,

Thrown backward from thy brow-
Thy full white brow of sinless thought ;
Thy cheeks by smiles to dimples wrought;
Thy radiant eyes, to which were given
The blue of autumn's midnight heaven;
Thy rose-bud mouth, whose voice's tone
Made every household heart thine own,
Our fondling child, our winning boy,
Whose thoughts, words, looks, were all of joy-
Yes! there thou art, from death come back ;

And vainly we deplore,
That earth had once a flowery track,

Which ne'er shall blossom more!

III.

A fresh life renovates dull earth,

Now spring renews the world; The little birds in joy sing forth,

'Mid leaflets half uncurl'd;But, Charlie, where art thou? We see The snowdrops fade, uncull'd by thee; We hear no more thy feet—thy voiceSweet sounds that made our hearts rejoice ; And every dear, familiar spot Says—here thou wert, who now art not;

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