THE lovely day had passed away,
Its stillness, on the landscape lay;
A summer sunset's lingering rays
Still kept the atmosphere, ablaze;
When, gathered in a darkened room,
Where light just glimmered, through the gloom,
A sorrowing circle, silent sate;
Distressed, but not disconsolate.
But yesterday, and every grace,
That makes of home, a sacred place,
The comforts, and the charms of life,
That blend in Mother, and in Wife;
All that the heart of man holds dear,
Was crowned and consecrated here.
Serene and beautiful, to-day,
Decked for the dead, our darling lay;
Whose eye, whose soul, whose heart, had been
The charm of all this sacred scene;
So calm, so sweet, our blessed dead,
We scarce could deem the spirit fled.
Like infant, tired, that sinks to rest,
At noon, upon its Mother's breast;
Her score of summers scarcely done,
And yet, her crown of victory won.
It is her own, her charmed room,
This ante-chamber of the tomb;
Her Bible opens, at the day;
The Book, that taught her how to pray,
Her Taylor, Kempis, Keble, lie
Just where she left them, all, to die.
In western window's deep retreat,
A table stands, in order meet,
With linen cloth, and roses white,
And crystal water, pure and bright.
The lingering beams of parting day,
Upon the trembling waters play;
Then stretching through the glimmering gloom,
That fills the still, and sacred room,
Upon our dear one's forehead fall,
Like some celestial coronal;
For sainted Mother, meet array,
To grace her babe's baptismal day.
Upon her fair and pulseless head,
His hand, the kneeling husband laid;
The honoured father bowed him low,
The mother's tears in silence flow,
From sisters, brothers, loved ones, friends,
The hushed and stifled sorrow blends;
One heart, one voice, in faltering flow,
Fours the low litany of woe,
"Thou gavest, Thou hast taken, Lord,
We bless Thy Holy name and Word!"
The surpliced Priest, comes gliding in;
The wave is blessed that saves from sin,
It sparkles on an infant's brow,
The child of grace and glory, now,
The Mother's blessed name is given,
That one may serve for both, in Heaven;
The cross is sealed, the pledge secured,
The heritage of Heaven, ensured;
The Mother's arms, the treasure, take,
With Jesu's mark, impressed, to nurse for Jesu's sake.
Scarce was the sacred service done,
And our dear dead one, left alone,
When, whispering through the waving trees,
There came a balmy western breeze,
And strewed the rose-leaves, fair and white,
Upon the water, pure and bright,
As if some angel had been sent,
To certify the sacrament
And flowers of love and peace been given,
To strew our darling's path to Heaven;
And way-marks left along the road,
To bring our baby, home to God.
RIVERSIDE, August 22, 1852.