Lydia Howard Huntley Sigourney

(1791-1865 / the United States)

Colonel H. L. Miller, - Poem by Lydia Howard Huntley Sigourney

Died at Hartford, December 30th, 1861.

Sorrow and Joy collude. One mansion hears
The children shouting o'er their Christmas Tree,
While in the next resound the widow's wail
And weeping of the fatherless. So walk
Sickness and health. One rounds the cheek at morn,
The other with a ghost-like movement glides
Unto the nightly couch, and lo! the wheels
Of life drive heavily, and all its springs
Revolving in mysterious mechanism
Are troubled.
And how slight the instrument
That sometimes sends the strong man to his tomb,
Revealing that the glory of his prime,
Is as the flower of grass.

Of this we thought
When looking on the face that lay so calm
And comely in its narrow coffin-bed,
Remembering how the months of pain that sank
His manly vigor to an infant's sigh
Were met unmurmuringly.
Dense was the throng
That gather'd to his obsequies,--and well
The Pastor's prayer of faith essayed to gird
The smitten hearts that whelm'd in sorrow mourn'd
Husband and sire, whose ever-watchful love
Guarded their happiness.

Slowly moved on
The long procession, led by martial men
Who deeply in their patriot minds deplored
Their fallen compeer, and bade music lay
With plaintive voice, her chaplet down beside
His open grave.
Then, the first setting sun
Of our New-Year, cast off his wintry frown,
And seemed to write in clear, long lines of gold
Upon the whiten'd earth, the glorious words,
So shall the dead arise, at the last trump,
Sown here in weakness, to be raised in power,
Sown in corruption, to put on the robes
Of immortality.
Praise be to Him
Who gives through Christ our Lord, to dying flesh
Such victory.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, September 25, 2010

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