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Page 302


Sweet memory of one now named as dead!
A beauteous ray from life's effulgent light,
That but a moment its glad brightness shed,
Then vanished, heavenward to wing its flight!
That smile still beams, which late made glad the heart, —
Like a fair ripple frozen in its course;
That eye as then its burning glance doth dart,
Lit by a love high heaven alone its source.
One only glimpse thou givest of the face
Whereon a thousand graces ever shone;
We turn from thee, and in our sadness trace
Those faded charms in memory's light alone.
Thou 'rt but one line of a fair-printed page, —
A sweet abstraction, wanting all the rest, —
One drop of water, that cannot assuage
The longing thirst that burns within our breast.
That brow is but a shadow to our gaze,
Those cheeks but semblances in pictured stone,
Those beaming eyes emit but frozen rays,
Those lips give back no warmth to greet our own.
O! mockery of life, in loveless frost!
All that thou art is but a tiny grain
Of the great treasure that our heart has lost,
And small thy power to ease our bitter pain.
Yet how we prize thee! soulless though thou art, —
The ghost of loveliness that once was ours, —
Thou quickenest drooping faith within our heart,
And liftest up the cloud that o'er us lowers, —
Letting God's holy light upon the scene,
And drawing our sad spirits up to His! —
Art gives sweet evidence of what has been,
And faith assurance that what has been is.