Page images

Captivity hath been their lot

For many a lonely day,
Yet Salem cannot be forgot—

Or memory pass away—
And memory told the tale too well,
For which their bitter tear-drops fell.


To mark the sufferings of the babe.

That cannot speak its woe;
To see the infant tears gush forth,

Yet know not why they flow;
To meet the meek uplifted eye

That fain would ask relief, Yet can but tell of agony—

This is a mother's grief!

Through dreary days and darker nights;

To trace the march of death;
To hear the faint and frequent sigh,

The quick and shortened breath;

AnonTo mark the last dread strife draw near,

And pray that straggle brief, Though all is ended with its close—

This is a mother's grief.

To see in one short hour decayed

The hope of future years;
To feel how vain a father's prayers,

How vain a mother's tears;
To think the cold grave now must close

O'er what was once the chief
Of all the treasured joys of earth—

This is a mother's grief!

Yet when the first wild throb is past

Of anguish and despair,
To lift the eye of faith to heaven,

And think, ' my child is there!'
This best can dry the gushing tears,

This yields the heart relief, Until the Christian's pious hope

O'ercomes a mother's grief.


With what unknown delight the mother smiled,
When this frail treasure in her arms she pressed!

Her prayer was heard—she clasped a living child,—
But how the gift transcends the poor request!

A child was all she asked, with many a vow:
Mother—behold the child an angel now I.

Now in her father's house she finds a place';

Or if to earth she take a transient flight, 'Tis to fulfil the purpose of his grace,

To guide thy footsteps to the world of light ;— A ministering spirit sent to thee,

That where she is, there thou may'st also be.

Miss Jane Taylor*


Calm and warm is the summer sky,
And the summer sun is bright,

For the pillowy clouds that around him lie,

Soften, but din not his light;
And flowers that are bending in clusters fair,
Lavish their sweets on the noon-tide air.

Things that are beauteous, lust'rous, gay,

To the raptured view arise,
For nature spreads forth her divine array

Of odours, and rainbow dyes;
And her sweetest of sounds; for from every tree
Peals out the full gush of minstrelsy.

All is gladness, freshness, and life,

And can death intrude ?—the tomb
Ope its jaws in an hour so bland and rife?

Yes! hark to that heavy boom,
That is loading the wings of the indolent breeze,
And see, what sorrowful groups are these!

From yon grove there issues a band

Of infant forms, clad in white,
And upborne by many a small fair hand,

A coffin, with flowers bedight;
And behind there are duskier forms, who weep
O'er that innocent thing in its last cold sleep.

No wonder, I wot, that ye mourn,

Thus early to seek the tomb,
E'en I can grieve, to behold him thus borne,

A flower plucked in early bloom;
Tho' unseen by me all those natural arts
With which, as with spells, he led captive your hearts

Fair ones, bearing your playmate now,

Less happy, methinks, are ye;
Soon pain and disease may some of ye bow;

Of some the worse fate may be,
Through long, long years, silent strife to wage.
With cares, and with ills, and last with age.

Where now is the feeling so gay,

That gladdened my heart erewhile? Swept like the sunbeam of winter away,

And tears take place of a smile. Less bright do the flowers seem, less vivid the greeny That funeral has passed like a cloud o'er the scene.

O, each moment, or bright, or chill,

To some must death's herald be, For his sable pennon is floating still,

No spot from its shade is free; .

« PreviousContinue »