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XIV. On reading Wordsworth’s Sonnets in Defence of Capital Punish-
GONE, gone from us ! and shall we
forth utterly ! O stern word - Nevermore!
His lips, the while,
eyes, That would have soared like strong.
The stars of those two gentle eyes Will shine no more on earth; Quenched are the hopes that had their
birth, As we watched them slowly rise, Stars of a mother's fate; And she would read them o'er and o'er, Pondering as she sate, Over their dear astrology, Which she had conned and conned
before, Deeming she needs must read aright What was writ so passing bright. And yet, alas ! she knew not why, Her voice would falter in its song, And tears would slide from out her eye, Silent, as they were doing wrong. O stern word - Nevermore !
How peacefully they rest, Crossfolded there Upon his little breast, Those small, white hands that ne'er
were still before, But ever sported with his mother's hair, Or the plain cross that on her breast
she wore ! Her heart no more will beat To feel the touch of that soft palm, That ever seemed a new surprise Sending glad thoughts up to her eyes To bless him with their holy calm, Sweet thoughts ! they made her eyes
as sweet. How quiet are the hands That wove those pleasant bands ! But that they do not rise and sink With his calm breathing, I should think That he were dropped asleep. Alas ! too deep, too deep Is this his slumber ! Time scarce can number The years ere he will wake again. O, may we see his eyelids open then! O stern word - Nevermore !
The tongue that scarce had learned
to claim An entrance to a mother's heart By that dear talisman, a mother's naine, Sleeps all forgetful of its art ! I loved to see the infant soul How mighty in the weakness Of its untutored meekness !) Peep timidly from out its nest,