Page images

One sabbath saw thee bend the knee
In reverential piety,
For childish faults forgiveness crave,
The next beam'd brightly on thy grave.
The crowd, of which thou late wert one,
Now throng'd across thy burial stone;

Rude footsteps trampled on the spot
· Where thou liest mould’ring and forgot ;

While some few gentler bosoms wept
In silence, where my brother slept. .
I stood not by thy feverish bed,

I look'd not on thy glazing eye,
Nor gently lull'd thy aching head,

Nor view'd thy dying agony ;. I felt not what my parents felt,

The doubt, the terror, the distress,
Nor vainly for my brother knelt;

My heart was spar'd that wretchedness.
One sentence told me in a breath
My brother's illness, and his death!
The days of mourning glided by,
And brought me back my gaiety;
For soon to childhood's wayward heart
Does crush'd affection cease to smart;
Again I join'd the playful crowd
Of boyish playmates, wild and loud;
I learnt to view with careless eye
My sable garb of misery;
No more I wept my brother's lot,
His image was almost forgot,
And ev'ry deeper shade of pain
Had vanish'd from my soul again.
The well-known morn I used to greet

With boyhood's joy, at length was beaming, And thoughts of home, and raptures sweet,

In ev'ry eye, but mine, were gleaming. But I, amidst that youthful band

Of beating hearts and beaming eyes,

Nor smil'd, nor spoke, at joy's command,

Nor felt those wonted ecstacies.
I lov'd my home, but trembled now
To view my father's alter'd brow ;
I fear'd to meet my mother's eye, ,
And hear her voice of agony;
I fear'd to view my native spot,
Where he who lov'd'it, now was not !
The pleasures of my home were fled,
My brother slumber'd with the dead!
Pensive I reach'd my father's gate,

No smiling faces met me now;
I enter'd, all was desolate,

Grief sat upon my mother's brow;
I heard her, as she kiss'd me, sigh;
A tear was in


eye ;
My little brothers round me press'd,
In gay unthinking childhood blest;
Long, long, that hour is past; but when
Shall I forget the mournful scene !
The sabbath came; with mournful pace
I sought my brother's burial place;
That shrine, which when I last had view'd,
In vigour by my side he stood.
I gaz'd around with fearful eye,
All things repos'd in sanctity;
I reach'd the chancel ; nought was chang'd:
The altar decently arrang'd,
The pure white cloth above the shrine,
The consecrated bread and wine,
All was the same; I saw no trace
Of sorrow in that holy place;
One hurried glance I downward gave,
My foot was on my brother's grave!
And years have past, and thou art now

Forgotten in thy silent tomb! And cheerful is


mother's brow, My father's eye has lost its gloom !

are ye

And years have past, and death has laid

Another victim by thy side ;
With thee he roams an infant shade,

But not more pure than thee, he died.
Blest both !--your ashes rest
Beside the spot you lov'd the best ;
And that dear home which saw your birth,
O’erlooks you in your bed of earth.
But who can tell what blissful shore
Your angel spirits wander o'er;
0, who can tell what raptures high
Now bless your immortality!
My boyish days are nearly gone,

My breast is not unsullied now,
And worldly cares and woes will soon

Cut their deep furrows on my brow
And life will take a darker hue,
From ills my brother never knew;
And human passions o'er my soul
May hold their dark and fell control.
And I have made me bosom friends,

And lov'd and link'd my heart with others; But who with mine his bosom blends,

As mine was blended with my brother's ? When years of rapture glided by,

The spring of life's unclouded weather,
Our souls were knit;-and thou and I,

My brother, grew in love together.
The chain is broke which bound us then,
When shall I find its like again!


Mrs. Dixon. Wuo, hapless, helpless being, who

Shall strew a flower upon thy grave. Or who from mute oblivion's power

Thy disregarded name shall save ?

Honour, and wealth, and learning's store

The votive urn remembers long, And ev’n the annals of the

poor Live in their bard's immortal song. But a blank stone best honours thee,

Whom sense, nor wealth, nor fame could find; Poorer than aught beside we see,

A human form without a mind. A casket gemless ! yet for thee

Pity suspends the tender wail ; For Reason shall a moral see,

While Memory paints the simple tale. Yes! it shall paint thy humble form

Clad decent in its russet weed, Happy in harmless wand'ring's charm,

And pleased thy father's flock to feed. With vacant reckless smile she bore

Patient, the cruel scorner's jest, With unfix'd gaze could pass it o'er,

And turn it pointless from her breast.
Her tongue, unable to display

The unform'd chaos of her mind,
No sense its rude sounds could convey,

But to parental instinct kind.
Yet close to ev'ry human form

Clings Imitation's mimic power, And she was fond and proud to own

The school time's regulated hour. And o'er the mutilated page

Mutter'd the mimic lesson's tone, And e'er the scholar's task was said,

Brought ever and anon her own.
And many a truant boy would seek

And drag reluctant to his place,
And e'en the master's solemn voice
Would mock with gráve and apt grimace.


Each heart humane could freely love

A nature so estrang'd from wrong, That even infants would remove

Her from the passing trav'ller's tongue.
But her prime joy was still to be

Where holy congregations bow,
Rapt in wild transports when they sung,

And when they pray'd would bend her low.
Oh, Nature! wheresoe'er thou art,

Some latent worship still is there ;
Blush ye! whose form without a heart

The ideot's plea can never share.
Poor guileless thing! just eighteen years

Parental cares had rear'd alone,
Then, lest thou e'er shouldst want these cares,

Heaven took thee, spotless, to its own.
Full many a watchful eye of love

Thy sickness and thy death did cheer, And Reason, while she joys, approves

The instinct of a parent's tear. Poor guileless thing! forgot by men,

The heaving turf directs to thee; 'Tis all thou art to mortal ken,

But Faith beyond the tomb can see. For what a burst of mind shall glow

When, disencumber'd from this clod, Thou, who on earth couldst nothing know,

Shalt rise to comprehend thy Gop! Oh, could thy spirit teach us now,

Full many a truth the gay might learn,
The value of a blameless life

Full many a scorner might discern.
Yes! they might learn, who waste their time,

What it would be to know no sin,
They who pollute the soul's sweet prime,
What to be spotless pure within.

« PreviousContinue »