Death! that struck when I was most confiding
In my certain faith of joy to be –
Strike again, Time’s withered branch dividing
From the fresh root of Eternity!
Leaves, upon Time’s branch, were growing brightly,
Full of sap, and full of silver dew;
Birds beneath its shelter gathered nightly;
Daily round its flowers the wild bees flew.
Sorrow passed, and plucked the golden blossom;
Guilt stripped off the foliage in its pride;
But, within its parent’s kindly bosom,
Flowed for ever Life’s restoring-tide.
Little mourned I for the parted gladness,
For the vacant nest and silent song –
Hope was there, and laughed me out of sadness;
Whispering, ” Winter will not linger long!”
And, behold! with tenfold increase blessing,
Spring adorned the beauty-burdened spray;
Wind and rain and fervent heat, caressing,
Lavished glory on that second May!
High it rose – no winged grief could sweep it;
Sin was scared to distance with its shine;
Love, and its own life, had power to keep it
From all wrong – from every blight but thine!
Cruel Death! The young leaves droop and languish;
Evening’s gentle air may still restore –
No! the morning sunshine mocks my anguish –
Time, for me, must never blossom more!
Strike it down, that other boughs may flourish
Where that perished sapling used to be;
Thus, at least, its mouldering corpse will nourish
That from which it sprung – Eternity.