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156

ADDRESS TO A DYING FRIEND.

She has knocked, she has entered ! blest spirit,

farewell ! We rejoice in thy bliss, though our loss we

deplore : It is joy that thou art where the blessed ones

dwell ; But, oh! it is grief we behold thee no more !

MRS. OPIE.

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HEN some beloveds, 'neath whose eyelids lay
The sweet lights of my childhood, one by one

Did leave me dark before the natural sun,
And I astonied fell, and could not pray,
A thought within me to myself did say,
“ Is God less God, that thou art left undone ?
Rise, worship, bless Him ! in this sackcloth spun,
As in that purple !”—But I answer, Nay!
What child his filial heart in words can loose,
If he behold his tender father raise
The hand that chastens sorely? Can he choose
But sob in silence with an upward gaze ?
And my great Father, thinking fit to bruise,
Discerns in speechless tears, both prayer and
praise.

MRS. E. B. BROWNING. 160

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RIENDS of faces unknown and a land

Unvisited over the sea,

Who tell me how lonely you stand, With a single gold curl in the hand Held

up

to be looked at by me,

While you ask me to ponder and say

What a father and mother can do, With the bright fellow-locks put away Out of reach, beyond kiss, in the clay

Where the violets press nearer than you.

Shall I speak like a poet, or run

Into weak woman's tears for relief?
Oh, children !-I never lost one, -
Yet
my

arm's round my own little son, And Love knows the secret of Grief.

ONLY A CURL.

159

“God lent him and takes him," you sigh ;

-Nay, there let me break with your pain :
God's generous in giving, say I,-
And the thing which He gives, I deny

That He ever can take back again.

He gives what He gives. I appeal

To all who bear babes in the hour
When the veil of the body we feel
Rent round us,—while torments reveal

The motherhood's advent in power,

And the babe cries !-has each of us known

By apocalypse (God being there
Full in nature) the child is our own,
Life of life, love of love, moan of moan,

Through all changes, all times, everywhere.

He's ours and for ever. Believe,

O father !—0 mother! look back To the first love's assurance.

To give Means with God not to tempt or deceive

With a cup thrust in Benjamin's sack.

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ONLY A CURL.

He gives what He gives. Be content !

He resumes nothing given,-be sure !
God lend ? Where the usurers lent
In His temple, indignant He went

And scourged away all those impure.

He lends not; but gives to the end,
As He loves to the end.

If it seem That He draws back a gift, comprehend 'Tis to add to it rather,--amend,

And finish it up to your dream,

Or keep,-as a mother will toys

Too costly, though given by herself, Till the room shall be stiller from noise, And the children more fit for such joys,

Kept over their heads on the shelf.

So, look up, friends ! you, who indeed

Have possessed in your house a sweet piece Of the heaven which men strive for, must need Be more earnest than others arem-speed

Where they loiter, persist where they cease.

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