John Pierpont

(1785-1866 / the United States)

A Sister's Thoughts Over A Brother's Grave - Poem by John Pierpont

He sleeps in peace! Death's cold eclipse
His radiant eyes hath shrouded o'er,
And slander's poison, from the lips
Of woman, on his heart no more
Distils, and burns it to its core.

He sleeps in peace! The noble spirit
That beamed forth from his living brow,
Prompt, at the shrine of real merit,
With reverence and with truth to bow,
Is, by false tongues, not troubled now.

He sleeps in peace! And, while he sleeps,
He dreams not of earth's loves or strifes;
The tears a sister for him weeps,-
He knows not that they 're not his wife's!
His thoughts are all another life's.

I hope he knows not that the hand
Once given to him is now another's;
I know, the flame that once it fanned
Had all gone out. I know my brother's
Last thoughts were of my love and mother's.

I hope he knows not that his child
Hears not nor knows its father's name.
Keep its young spirit undefiled
And worthy of its father's fame,
O Thou, from whom its spirit came!

Thou Father of the fatherless,
The mantle that my brother wore,-
The robe of truth and faithfulness,-
Keep, for his infant, in thy store;
My brother hath left nothing more!

That mantle!-men had seen him throw
It amply round him ere it fell!
Peace, brother, 't is as white as snow;
No one of all on earth that dwell
Can stain what once became thee well.

In peace thou sleepest;-through the bars
Of its dim cell thy spirit fled;
And now thy sister and the stars
Their tears of dew and pity shed,
Heart-broken brother, on thy bed.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, September 15, 2010

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