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Thirteen summers have waved round us, thirteen winters

shower'd their snows, Thirteen springs danced by, and thirteen autumns pass’d

like music's close, Since I witness'd gloom like this, wherein the stoutest heart

would melt: Thick close darkness on our eyelids weighing_darkness

that is felt. Oh, the memory of that midnight, spectre-like, within me

sleeps; If I only gaze, it rises dimly from my spirit's deeps— Rises with the sere elm forests struck by fitful gusts of

wind, And the hollow drifting raindrops on the casement close |

behind : Every wind-moan finds an echo in my moaning heart within, And the rain is not as dewdrops to a soul once scarr'd with


Brother, thou wert ever to me as a young and golden mist Floating through blue liquid heavens, with the morning sun

light kiss'd;

Which the eye looks up and blesses, lingering on its track

above, With an old familiar fondness and an earnestness of love. Brother, I to thee was ever as a storm-cloud on the hills, Lowering o'er the rocks and caverns and the laughter of the


Yet I've thought at times, my brother, from the sunshine of

thy life,

Passing rainbow gleams have fallen on my spirit-world of

strife : For when every fount was wormwood, every star had ceased

to shine, It was bliss in dreams to ponder how unlike thy lot to


Yet, in childhood, I remember how our sainted mother


Often on bright Sabbath eves, and thrice upon her dying

bedThat far scenes would crowd upon her, when she look'd on

me and thee, In the distance, dream-like dawning, from the glorious


She was kneeling, as she told us, at her Saviour's blessed feetLeaning on her harp, which warbled (as she knelt) heaven's

music sweet

But the thrill of that communion, and the smiles that on

her fell, And the melody of worship, words, she said, might never tell. Still the dream grew clear and clearer, softer still that music's

tone, And she saw she was not kneeling in that glorious light alone: For beside her were two spirits (well she knew them), I and

thou; Life and light and love, all blended, like soft rainbows, on

our brow. And like us in blest communion kneeling, singing as we sung, On the hand of each of us a gentler lovelier angel hung.

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Often since I've mused, my brother, when my heart was

rent, if this

Were a heaven-sent dream, prophetic of a far-off home of bliss,
Or a beautiful life-picture by affection's fingers drawn,
But which, like my earthly joys, should fade, fade, fade away

at dawn.

Weep not, brother! thou hast found that angel of the far-off


Whom our mother saw there kneeling, gently clinging to

thy hand.

I, too, have a tale to tell thee (would that it may end in

light), Though a tale of sin and sorrow, I can better tell at night. Who could speak of sad hearts broken by himself, of tear

drown'd eyes,

And of wither'd hopes and feelings, underneath blue laughing

skies ? Sorrow clings to sorrow's raiment-grief must have her

twilight wanMoan, ye winds and woods and waves, and let the embers

smoulder on.

Gaze with me a moment down the billowy ocean of our life, Which with tears and fitful radiance seems mysteriously rife: In the distance, like the earliest flush of morning o'er the

hills, Even here, through cloud and gloom, a dewy mellow light Still it grows upon my sight intensely beautiful and grand, From the land of childhood streaming, childhood's golden


faery-land : When Time went on sunshine wheels, on wings of breezy

joyaunce by, Every feeling, like the sky-lark, from the earth and to the

sky. Then, perchance, no human seer that look'd upon our reck

less brow, Could have prophesied the diverse pathway we are travelling


But the first black cloud that shadow'd childhood's blue

pellucid years, Gloom'd, rose, cover'd, broke upon us with a sudden dash of


Gloom’d upon the morn, the tidings of our father's victory


Earn'd with precious drops of blood—the dew, an' if ye will,

of fame; Broke—the next sad post a letter, edged with black, too

surely told That his heart was still for ever, and his lips for ever cold.

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