Alaric Alexander Watts

(1797-1864 / England)

On The Death Of A Young Friend, Of Fever, At Laguira - Poem by Alaric Alexander Watts

By foreign hands thy dying eyes were closed;
By foreign hands thy decent limbs composed;
By foreign hands thy humble grave adorned;
By strangers honoured, and by strangers mourned. ~ POPE.

He left his home with a bounding heart,
For the world was all before him;
And felt it scarce a pain to part,
Such sun-bright dreams came o'er him:
He turned him to visions of future years,
The rainbow's hues were 'round them;
And a father's bodings, a mother's tears,
Might not weigh with the hopes that crowned them.
That mother's cheek is far paler now,
Than when she last caressed him;
There's an added gloom on that father's brow,
Since the hour when last he blessed him:
Oh! that all human hopes should prove
Like the flowers that will fade to-morrow;
And the cankering fears of anxious love
Ever end in truth, and sorrow!
He left his home with a swelling sail,
Of fame and fortune dreaming,—
With a spirit as free as the vernal gale,
Or the pennant above him streaming:
He hath reached his goal;—by a distant wave,
'Neath a sultry sun they laid him;
And strangers bent above his grave
When the last sad rites were paid him.
He should have died in his own loved land,
With friends and kindred near him;
Not have withered thus on a foreign strand,
With no cherished friend to cheer him.
But what recks it now? Is his sleep less sound,
Where the breezes wild have swept him,
Than if home's green turf his grave had bound,
Or the hearts he loved had wept him?
Then why repine? Can he feel the rays
That pestilent sun sheds o'er him;
Or share the grief that must cloud the days
Of the friends who now deplore him?
No; his bark's at anchor, its sails are furled,
It hath 'scaped the storm's deep chiding;
And safe from the buffeting waves of the world,
In a haven of peace is riding.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010

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