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Is present and perpetually abides
and cheered Those several qualities of heart and mind Which, in her own blest nature, rooted deep, Daily before the Mother's watchful eye, And not hers only, their peculiar charms Unfolded, - beauty, for its present self, And for its promises to future years, With not unfrequent rapture fondly hailed. Have you espied upon a dewy lawn A pair of Leverets each provoking each To a continuance of their fearless sport, Two separate Creatures in their several gifts Abounding, but so fashioned that, in all
That Nature prompts them to display, their
looks, Their starts of motion and their fits of rest, An undistinguishable style appears And character of gladness, as if Spring Lodged in their innocent bosoms, and the
spirit Of rejoicing morning were their own? Such union, in the lovely Girl maintained And her twin Brother, had the parent seen, Ere, pouncing like a ravenous bird of prey, Death in a moment parted them, and left The Mother, in her turns of anguish, worse Than desolate; for oft-times from the sound Of the survivor's sweetest voice (dear child, He knew it not) and from his happiest
looks, Did she extract the food of self-reproach, As one that lived ungrateful for the stay By Heaven afforded to uphold her maimed And tottering spirit. And full oft the Boy, Now first acquainted with distress and grief, Shrunk from his Mother's presence, shunned
with fear Her sad approach, and stole away to find, In his known haunts of joy where'er he
might, A more congenial object. But, as time * Softened her pangs and reconciled the child To what he saw, he gradually returned,
Like a scared Bird encouraged to renew
stoop To imprint a kiss that lacked not power to
spread Faint color over both their pallid cheeks, And stilled his tremulous lip. Thus they
were calmed And cheered; and now together breathe
fresh air In open fields; and when the glare of day Is gone, and twilight to the Mother's wish Befriends the observance, readily they join In walks whose boundary is the lost One's
grave, Which he with flowers had planted, finding
there Amusement, where the Mother does not
miss Dear consolation, kneeling on the turf In prayer, yet blending with that solemn
rite Of pious faith the vanities of grief; For such, by pitying Angels and by Spirits Transferred to regions upon which the clouds Of our weak nature rest not, must be deemed Those willing tears, and unforbidden sighs, And all those tokens of a cherished sorrow, Which, soothed and sweetened by the grace
of Heaven As now it is, seems to her own fond heart, Immortal as the love that gave it being.
SONGS FOR MY MOTHER
My mother's hands are cool and fair,
They can do anything. Delicate mercies hide them there
Like flowers in the spring.
When I was small and could not sleep,
She used to come to me,
How sure my rest would be.
For everything she ever touched
Of beautiful or fine,
Would warm that sleep of mine.
Her hands remember how they played
One time in meadow streams, — And all the flickering song and shade Of water took my dreams.
Swift through her haunted fingers pass
Memories of garden things ;I dipped my face in flowers and
grass And sounds of hidden wings.
One time she touched the cloud that kissed Brown pastures bleak and far ;
: I leaned my cheek into a mist
And thought I was a star.
All this was very long ago
And I am grown; but yet
I never can forget.
For still when drowsiness comes on
It seems so soft and cool, Shaped happily beneath my cheek,
Hollow and beautiful.
My mother has the prettiest tricks
Of words and words and words. Her talk comes out as smooth and sleek
As breasts of singing birds.
She shapes her speech all silver fine
Because she loves it so.