When sickness came, though short, and hurried o'er,
It made thee more an angel than before.
How patient, tender, gentle, though disease
Preyed on thy life!-how anxious still to please!
How oft around thy mother's neck entwined
Thy arms were folded, as to Heaven resigned!
How oft thy kisses on her pallid cheek
Spoke all thy love, as language ne'er could speak!
E'en the last whisper of thy parting breath
Asked, and received, a mother's kiss, in death.
But oh! how vain, by art, or words, to tell,
What ne'er was told,--affection's magic spell!
More vain to tell that sorrow of the soul,
That works in secret, works beyond control,
When death strikes down, with sudden crush and power,
Parental hope, and blasts its opening flower.
Most vain to tell, how deep that long despair,
Which time ne'er heals, which time can scarce impair.
Yet still I love to linger on the strain-
'T is grief's sad privilege. When we complain,
Our hearts are eased of burdens hard to bear;
We mourn our loss, and feel a comfort there.
My child, my darling child, how oft with thee
Have I passed hours of blameless ecstasy!
How oft have wandered, oft have paused to hear
Thy playful thoughts fall sweetly on my ear!
How oft have caught a hint beyond thy age,
Fit to instruct the wise, or charm the sage!
How oft, with pure delight, have turned to see
Thy beauty felt by all, except by thee;
Thy modest kindness, and thy searching glance;
Thy eager movements, and thy graceful dance;
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