IT was a sweet autumnal day;
The rustling leaves, around me lay;
The landscape, bathed in golden light,
As heaven itself, was fair and bright.
I waited for a funeral train;
And, sauntering through the Church-yard lane,
My thoughtful feet, instinctive, strayed,
To where a darling child was laid.
Sweet Mary! I remember well,
How like a blessing, first, she fell;
And on a joyous summer day,
Sweet flower, sweet bud, together lay.
And, well do I remember, too,
When wintry winds around us, blew,
We bore our summer bud, away,
Its sweetness, in the snow, to lay.
She was a most attractive child:
So gay, so free, so meek, so mild;
A lovely, little, loving thing,
Among the heart-strings, made to cling.
Her childish fancy took to me:
She loved, to hang upon my knee;
And win, with many an artless wile,
The kiss, that crowned the sunny smile.
I hear her flute-like accents, now,
I see the beaming, on her brow,
As from her little door-way seat,
She hailed, with glee, my passing feet,
As bright and glad, as any bird,
Could she but win one kindly word.
Sweet Mary, years have come, and gone,
Since last I heard thy loving tone;
And time, and toil, and care, have shed
The snows of winter, on my head:
Yet while I stand, beside thee, here,
And brush away the starting tear,
I hear, again, thy bird-like voice,
And, in thy childish love, rejoice.
Sweet Mary, thou art, now, with God!
We linger, yet, along the road:
Oh! that the echoes of thy speech,
Our struggling hearts, from heaven, might reach;
To win ns, from the things of earth,
To thoughts and themes, of holier birth
To teach us, to count all things loss
For His dear sake, who bore the Cross:
That, all who loved thee, here, may be,
Through Him, at last, in Heaven, with thee!