I DID not think to number thee, my Croswell, with the dead,
But counted on thy loving lips, to soothe my dying bed;
To watch the fluttering flood of life, ebb languidly away,
And point my spirit, to the gate, that opens into day.
My "more than brother" thou hast been, for five and twenty years,
In storm and shine, in grief and joy, alike in smiles and tears;
Our twin-born hearts, so perfectly incorporate in one,
That not the shadow of a thought, e'er marred their unison.
Beside me, in life's highest noon, to hear the bridegroom's voice,
Thy loving nature fondly stood, contented to rejoice;
Nor boon, that ever bounteous Heaven bestowed on me, or mine,
But bore for thee, a keener joy, than if it had been thine.
Thy fingers, at the sacred font, when God my hearth had blessed,
Upon my first-born's brow, the dear baptismal sign, impressed;
My second-born, thine own in Christ, our loving names to blend,
And knit, for life, his father's son, in with his father's friend.
And when our patriarchal White, with apostolic hands,
Committed to my trembling trust the Saviour's dread commands,
Thy manly form, and saintly face, were at my side again--
Thy voice, a trumpet to my heart, in its sincere Amen!
Beside thee once again, be mine, accepted priest, to stand,
And take, with thee, the pastoral palm, from that dear Shepherd's hand
As thou hast followed Him, be mine, in love, to follow thee,
Nor care, how soon my course be run; so thine, my rest may be.
O beautiful and glorious death! with all thy armour on;
While, Stephen-like, thy placid face, out, like an angel's shone.
The words of blessing on thy lips, had scarcely ceased to sound,*
Before thy gentle soul, with them, its resting place had found.
O pastoral and priestly death! poetic as thy life--
A little child to shelter, in Christ's fold, from sin and strife; **
Then, by the gate, that opens through the Cross, for such as she,
To enter in thyself, with Christ, forevermore to bet
RIVERSIDE, November 10, 1851.
* Unable to rise after the closing collect, he said the benediction on his knees. He died in two hours. A blood vessel was ruptured in his brain.
** He had just baptized an infant; and his sermon was addressed to children.