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PARTING WORDS.

71

Shut out the sunshine from my dying room,
The jasmine's breath, the murmur of the bee;
Let not the joy of bird-notes pierce the gloom!
They speak of love, of summer, and of thee,

Too much and death is here!

Doth our own spring make happy music now,
From the old beach-roots flashing into day?
Are the pure lilies imaged in its flow?
Alas! vain thoughts! that fondly thus can stray

From the dread hour so near!

If I could but draw courage from the light
Of thy clear eye, that ever shone to bless !
- Not now! 't will not be now !--my aching sight
Drinks from that fount a flood of tenderness,

Bearing all strength away!

Leave me! thou com'st between my heart and Hea

ven! I would be still, in voiceless prayer to die! - Why must our souls thus love, and then be riven? - Return! thy parting wakes mine agony !

- Oh, yet awhile delay !

THE MESSAGE TO THE DEAD.'

THOU'Rt passing hence, my brother!

Oh! my earliest friend, farewell!
Thou’rt Icaving me, without thy voice,

In a lonely home to dwell;
And from the hills, and from the hearth,

And from the household-tree,
With thee departs the lingering mirth,

The brightness goes with thee.

But thou, my friend, my brother!

Thou'rt speeding to the shore
Where the dirge-like tone of parting words

Shall smite the soul no more!
And thou wilt see our holy dead,

The lost on earth and main ;
Into the sheaf of kindred hearts,

Thou wilt be bound again!

Tell, then, our friend of boyhood,

That yet his name is heard
On the blue mountains, whence his youth

Pass'd like a swift bright bird.

1" Messages from the living to the dead are not uncommon in the Highlands. The Gael have such a ceaseless consciousness of immortality, that their departed friends are considered as merely absent for a time, and permitted to relieve the hours of separation by occasional intercourse with the objects of their earliest affections." —See the notes to Mrs. Brunton's Works.

MESSAGE TO THE DEAD.

73

The light of his exulting brow,

The visions of his glee,
Are on me still-Oh! still I trust

That smile again to see.

And tell our fair young sister,

The rose cut down in spring, That yet my gushing soul is fillid

With lays she loved to sing,
Her soft, deep eyes look through my dreams,

Tender and sadly sweet;-
Tell her my heart within me burns

Once more that gaze to meet !

And tell our white-hair'd father,

That in the paths he trode,
The child he loved, the last on earth,

Yet walks and worships God.
Say, that his last fond blessing yet

Rests on my soul like dew,
And by its hallowing might I trust

Once more his face to view.

And tell our gentle mother,
That on her grave

I

pour The sorrows of my spirit forth,

As on her breast of yore.
Happy thou art that soon, how soon,

Our good and bright will see !--
Oh! brother, brother! may I dwell,

Ere long, with them and thee ! VOL. VI. 7

THE TWO HOMES.

Oh! if the soul immortal be,
Is not its love immortal 100 ?

Seest thou my home?— 't is where yon woods are

waving, In their dark richness, to the summer air; Where yon blue stream, a thousand flower-banks

laving, Leads down the hills a vein of light,-'tis there!

Midst those green wilds how many a fount lies

gleaming, Fringed with the violet, colour'd with the skies ! My boyhood's haunt, through days of summer dream

ing, Under young leaves that shook with melodies.

My home! the spirit of its love is breathing
In every wind that plays across my track;
From its white walls the very tendrils wreathing,
Seem with soft links to draw the wanderer back.

There am I loved - there pray'd for-there my

mother Sits by the hearth with meekly thoughtful eye; There my young sisters watch to greet their brother

Soon their glad footsteps down the path will fly.

THE TWO HOMES.

75

There, in sweet strains of kindred music blending,
All the home-voices meet at day's decline;
One are those tones, as from one heart ascending,
There laughs my home-sad stranger ! where is thine?

Ask’st thou of mine ?— In solemn peace 'tis lying,
Far o'er the deserts and the tombs away;
'Tis where I, too, am loved with love undying,
And fond hearts wait my step-But where are they?

Ask where the earth's departed have their dwelling !
Ask of the clouds, the stars, the trackless air !
I know it not, yet trust the whisper, telling
My lonely heart, that love unchanged is there.

And what is home, and where, but with the loving?
Happy thou art, that so canst gaze on thine !
My spirit feels but, in its weary roving,
That with the dead, where'er they be, is mine.

Go to thy home, rejoicing son and brother!
Bear in fresh gladness to the household scene!
For me, too, watch the sister and the mother,
I well believe--but dark seas roll between.

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