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Not there !-Where, then, is het
The form I used to see
Was but the raiment that he used to wear.
The grave, that now doth press
Upon that cast-off dress, Is but his wardrobe locked ; – he is not there !
For Charlie's sake I will arise ;
I will anoint me where he lies,
And change my raiment, and go in
To the Lord's house, and leave my sin
Without, and seat me at his board,
Eat, and be glad, and praise the Lord.
For wherefore should I fast and weep,
And sullen moods of mourning keep 1
I cannot bring him back, nor he,
For any calling, come to me.
The bond the angel Death did sign,
God sealed — for Charlie's sake, and mine.
He lives!— In all the past
He lives; nor, to the last,
Of seeing him again will I despair;
In dreams I see him now;
And, on his angel brow, I see it written, “ Thou shalt see me there ! ”
Yes, we all live to God! Father, thy chastening rod
I'm very poor — this slender stone Marks all the narrow field I own;
When the baby died, we said,
With a sudden, secret dread:
“ Death, be merciful, and pass;
Leave the other!" - but alas !
While we watched he waited there,
One foot on the golden stair,
One hand beckoning at the gate,
Till the home was desolate.
Yet, patient husbandman, I till,
With faith and prayers, that precious hill,
Sow it with penitential pains,
And, hopeful, wait the latter rains;
Content if, after all, the spot
Yield barely one forget-me-not-
Whether or figs or thistles make
My crop, content for Charlie's sake.
I have no houses, builded well —
Only that little lonesome cell,
Where never romping playmates come,
Nor bashful sweethearts, cunning-dumb —
An April burst of girls and boys,
Their rainbow cloud of glooms and joys
Born with their songs, gone with their toys;
Nor ever is its stillness stirred
By purr of cat, or chirp of bird,
Or mother's twilight legend, told
Of Horner's pie, or Tiddler's gold,
Or fairy hobbling to the door,
Red-cloaked and weird, banned and poor,
To bless the good child's gracious eyes,
The good child's wistful charities,
And crippled changeling's hunch to make
Dance on his crutch, for good child's sake.
Friends say, “ It is better so,
Clothed in innocence to go;"
Say, to ease the parting pain,
That “your loss is but their gain.”
Ah! the parents think of this ! But remember more the kiss From the little rose-red lips; And the print of finger-tips
Left upon the broken toy,
Will remind them how the boy
And his sister charmed the days
With their pretty, winsome ways.