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Thomas Cole's poetry

the collected poems of America's foremost painter of the Hudson River School reflecting his feelings for nature and the romantic spirit of the Nineteenth Century

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[38. Mother! All hallowed word forever bless'd!]

Mother! All hallowed word forever bless'd!
Forever dear to man and most to me,
But utter'd now 'mid sighs but ill suppress'd,
And rising tears that struggle to be free—
Mother! Alas thou dost not answer; 'neath the ground
Thy willing ear is clos'd, nor heedeth mortal sound—
My Mother! Still, the dear, lov'd name I call
It is the natural musick of my tongue,
Sad now its tones, but potent to recall
To mind thy love, thy tenderness, how strong!
And call I vainly? No! The Grave does not enclose
Thy spirit; freed from earth undying it arose—
Hope tells me, and a holy hope like this
Can not be false, whether tis thine to dwell
Beyond the Stars, or in thy blessedness
Dost linger near thy children, lov'd so well,
A Heaven-appointed time; thy kind, maternal care
Still lives—Still thine eye sees us—still thou heard our prayer—
My voice lifts not complaining—Thou art ta'en
From earthly trouble—impious it would be
To wish thee in this darksome world again
To bear with us a sad mortality:
But nature is unconquerable—grief will rise
Within a filial bosom, when a Mother dies.
Not with complaining, but with gratitude
The dear rememberances of love arise—
Thy watchful care with tenderness imbued—
Countless anxieties—self sacrifice—
Wave upon wave till uncontroll'd bursts forth
Thy soul in flattering accents; tribute to thy worth—
October 30, 1837