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TREAD Softly-bow the head
In reverent silence bow-
No passing bell doth toll,
Yet an immortal soul
Is passing now.
Stranger! however great,
With lowly reverence bow;
There's one in that poor
One by that paltry bed-
Greater than thou.
Beneath that beggar's roof,
Lo! Death doth keep his state;
Enter-no crowds attend-
Enter-no guards defend
This palace gate.
That pavement, damp and cold,
No smiling courtiers tread;
One silent woman stands
Lifting with meagre hands
A dying head.
No mingling voices sound
An infant wail alone;
A sob suppressed-again
That short deep gasp, and then
The parting groan.
Oh! change-oh! wondrous change
Burst are the prison bars,—
This moment there, so low,
So agonised, and now
Beyond the stars!
Oh! change-stupendous change!
There lies the soulless clod:
The sun eternal breaks-
The new immortal wakes-
Wakes with his God.
THE Cottage was a thatched one,
The outside old and mean;
Yet everything within that cot
Was wondrous neat and clean.
The night was dark and stormy,
The wind was howling wild;
A patient mother watched beside
The death-bed of her child—
A little worn-out creature-
His once bright eyes grown dim;
It was a collier's only child-
They called him "Little Jim."
And oh! to see the briny tears
Fast hurrying down her cheek,
As she offered up a prayer in thought—
She was afraid to speak,
Lest she might waken one she loved
Far better than her life;
For she had all a mother's heart,
Had that poor collier's wife.
With hands uplifted, see, she kneels
Beside the sufferer's bed,
And prays that He will spare her boy,
And take herself instead.
She gets her answer from the child;
Soft fall these words from him-
"Mother, the angels do so smile,
And beckon Little Jim.'
"I have no pain, dear mother, now;
But oh! I am so dry!
Just moisten poor Jim's lips again—
And, mother, don't you cry!
With gentle, trembling haste she held.
A teacup to his lips;
He smiled to thank her as he took
Three little tiny sips.
"Tell father, when he comes from work,
I said good-night to him;
And, mother, now I'll go to sleep."-
Alas! poor little Jim!
She saw that he was dying,
The child she loved so dear
Had uttered the last words that she
Might ever hope to hear.
The cottage-door is opened;
The collier's step is heard;
The father and the mother meet,
Yet neither speak a word.
He felt that all was over,
He knew his child was dead; He took the candle in his hand, And walked towards the bed.
His quivering lip gives token
Of the grief he'd fain conceal
And see, his wife has joined him ;-
The stricken couple kneel.
With hearts bowed down with sadness,
They humbly ask of Him
In heaven once more to meet again
THERE came to the beach a poor exile of Erin,
The dew on his thin robe was heavy and chill :
For his country he sighed, when at twilight repairing
To wander alone by the wind-beaten hill:
But the day-star attracted his eyes' sad devotion;
For it rose o'er his own native isle of the ocean,
Where once, in the fire of his youthful emotion,
He sang the bold anthem of Erin go bragh.
"Sad is my fate!" said the heart-broken stranger:
"The wild deer and wolf to a covert can flee,
But I have no refuge from famine and danger;
A home and a country remain not to me.
Never again, in the green sunny bowers,
Where my forefathers lived, shall I spend the sweet hours,
Or cover my harp with the wild-woven flowers,
And strike to the numbers of Erin go bragh!
"Erin! my country! though sad and forsaken,
In dreams I revisit thy sea-beaten shore !
But, alas in a far foreign land I awaken,
And sigh for the friends who can meet me no more. Oh cruel fate! wilt thou never replace me
In a mansion of peace-where no perils can chase me? Never again shall my brothers embrace me?
They died to defend me, or live to deplore!
"Where is my cabin-door, fast by the wild wood?
Sisters and sire, did ye weep for its fall?
Where is the mother that looked on my childhood?
And where is the bosom-friend, dearer than all ?
Oh my sad heart! long abandoned by pleasure,
Why did it dote on a fast-fading treasure?
Tears, like the rain-drop, may fall without measure,
But rapture and beauty they cannot recal.
"Yet all its sad recollections suppressing,
One dying wish my lone bosom can draw ;
Erin! an exile bequeaths thee his blessing!
Land of my forefathers! Erin go bragh!
Buried and cold, when my heart stills her motion,
Green be thy fields-sweetest isle of the Ocean!
And thy harp-striking bards sing aloud with devotion,
Erin mavournin! Erin go bragh."
AND thou hast walked about, (how strange a story!)
In Thebes's streets three thousand years ago,
When the Memnonium was in all its glory,
And time had not begun to overthrow
Those temples, palaces, and piles stupendous,
Of which the very ruins are tremendous.
Speak! for thou long enough has acted dummy;
Thou hast a tongue, come, let us hear its tune;
Thour't standing on thy legs above ground, Mummy!
Revisiting the glimpses of the moon,
Not like thin ghosts, or disembodied creatures,
But with thy bones and flesh, and limbs and features.