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O Youth and Joy, your airy tread

Too lightly springs by Sorrow’s bed,

Your keen eye-glances are too bright,

Too restless for a sick man’s sight.

Farewell; for one short life we part:

I rather woo the soothing art,

Which only souls in sufferings tried

Bear to their suffering brethren’s side.

Where may we learn that gentle spell?

Mother of Martyrs, thou canst tell!

Thou, who didst watch thy dying Spouse

With pierced hands and bleeding brows,

Whose tears from age to age are shed

O’er sainted sons untimely dead,

If e’er we charm a soul in pain,

Thine is the key-note of our strain.

How sweet with thee to lift the latch,

Where Faith has kept her midnight watch,

Smiling on woe: with thee to kneel,

Where fix’d, as if one prayer could heal,

She listens, till her pale eye glow

With joy, wild health can never know,

And each calm feature, ere we read,

Speaks, silently, thy glorious Creed.

Such have I seen: and while they pour’d

Their hearts in every contrite word,

How have I rather long’d to kneel

And ask of them sweet pardon’s seal;

How bless’d the heavenly music brought

By thee to aid my faltering thought!

“Peace” ere we kneel, and when we cease

To pray, the farewell word is, “Peace.”

I came again: the place was bright

“With something of celestial light” —

A simple Altar by the bed

For high Communion meetly spread,

Chalice, and plate, and snowy vest. —

We ate and drank: then calmly blest,

All mourners, one with dying breath,

We sate and talk’d of Jesus’ death.

Once more I came: the silent room

Was veil’d in sadly-soothing gloom,

And ready for her last abode

The pale form like a lily show’d,

By Virgin fingers duly spread,

And priz’d for love of summer fled.

The light from those soft-smiling eyes

Had fleeted to its parent skies.

O soothe us, haunt us, night and day,

Ye gentle Spirits far away,

With whom we shar’d the cup of grace,

Then parted; ye to Christ’s embrace,

We to this lonesome world again,

Yet mindful of th’ unearthly strain

Practis’d with you at Eden’s door,

To be sung on, where Angels soar,

With blended voices evermore.

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