On The Death Of A Child

Rating: 2.7

Sweet flower! with flowers I strew thy narrow bed!
Sweets to the sweet! Farewell! ~ Shakespeare.

A cloud is on my heart and brow,
The tears are in my eyes,
And wishes fond, all idle now,
Are stifled into sighs;—
As musing on thine early doom,
Thou bud of beauty snatched to bloom,
So soon, 'neath milder skies,
I turn, thy painful struggle past,
From what thou art to what thou wast!
I think of all thy winning ways,
Thy frank but boisterous glee,
Thy arch, sweet smiles, thy coy delays,
Thy step, so light and free;
Thy sparkling glance, and hasty run,
Thy gladness when the task was done
And gained thy mother's knee;—
Thy gay, good-humoured, childish ease,
And all thy thousand arts to please!
Where are they now, and where, oh where,
The eager, fond caress,
The blooming cheek, so fresh and fair,
The lips all sought to press?
The open brow, and laughing eye,
The heart that leaped so joyously?
Ah! had we loved them less!
Yet there are thoughts can bring relief,
And sweeten even this cup of grief.
Thou hast escaped a thorny scene,
A wilderness of woe,
Where many a blast of anguish keen
Had taught thy tears to flow;
Perchance some wild and withering grief
Had sered thy summer's earliest leaf,
In these dark bowers below,
Or sickening thrills of hope deferred,
To strife thy gentlest thoughts had stirred!
Thou hast escaped life's fitful sea
Before the storm arose,
Whilst yet its gliding waves were free
From aught that marred repose;
Safe from the thousand throes of pain,
Ere sin or sorrow breathed a stain
Upon thine opening rose;—
And who can calmly think of this,
Nor envy thee thy doom of bliss?
I culled from home's beloved bowers
To deck thy last long sleep,
The brightest-hued, most fragrant flowers
That summer's dews may steep:
The rosebud, emblem meet, was there,
The violet blue, and jasmine fair
That drooping seemed to weep;—
And now I add this lowlier spell:—
Sweets to the passing sweet, farewell!