[Among the unprinted papers of the author of “Charles Auchester” and “Counterparts” was found this poem, addressed to a father on the death of a favorite son, whose noble disposition and intellectual gifts were all enlisted on the side of suffering humanity.]
Full as the sea of tears! imperial heart,
King in thy sorrow over all who weep!
O wrestler with the darkness set apart
Of thy fast-flashing pulses ! pause to hear
The lullabies of many an alien sob,
A storm of alien sighs, — so far ! so near !
Could charm thee from thy night-long agonies,
Could steep thy brain in slumber mild, and shed
Elysian dreams upon thy closing eyes !
Sorrow for sorrow is the only spell ;
Nor wanders yet to melt in unspent years
The wringing murmur of our fresh farewell!
Rich hearts, poor hands, the lovely, the unlearned,
Bemoan the angel of the age in him,
A star unto its starlight strength returned.
The Sea the changeful glance so like its own,
Genius the darling of her diadem,
Whose smile made moonlight round her awful throne.
Beneath light domes to tune the festal train,
Nor at the moony eves along the shore
To brim with fairy forms that wizard brain.
Sad rains that fret the sea and drown the day,
We hail, — well pleased that stricken Autumn raves,
Though not with Winter shall our griefs decay.
Is violet-shadowed from the warm blue air,
When the dark grasses brighten over thee,
And the winged sunbeams flutter golden there,—
The blossoms of our spirits we will bring,
(Again a babe upon thy mother's breast,
An infant seed of the eternal Spring,) —
Unfading memories of a smile more sweet
Than perfume of pale roses, hopes that strew
Ethereal lilies on those silent feet.
Where Passion’s phantom is so softly laid;
But Charity beside that earth doth stand,
Most lovely left of all, thy sister-shade.
Above thy calm hands and thy quiet head,
When morn is fair, or noonday’s glory keen
Or the white star-fire glistens on thy bed.
Her watch is o’er thy pillow, and her breath
Tells every breeze that stirs thy solitude
How thou didst earn that rest on earth called Death, —
For us too early, not too soon for thee ! —
So may we rest, when Death shall dry our tears,
Till everlasting Morning makes us free !