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Or breaks the silence still and deep
Where thou, beneath thy burial-stone,
Art laid in that unstartled sleep
The living eye hath never known.
The lonely sexton's footstep falls
In dismal echoes on the walls,
As, slowly pacing through the aisle,
He sweeps the unholy dust away,
And cobwebs, which must not defile
Those windows on the Sabbath-day;
And, passing through the central nave,
Treads lightly on my brother's grave.
But when the sweet-toned Sabbath-chime,
Pouring its music on the breeze,
Proclaims the well-known holy time
Of prayer, and thanks, and bended knees;
When rustic crowds devoutly meet,
And lips and hearts to God are given,
And souls enjoy oblivion sweet
Of earthly ills, in thoughts of heaven;
What voice of calm and solemn tone
Is heard above thy burial-stone?
What form, in priestly meek array,
Beside the altar kneels to pray?
What holy hands are
To bless the sacramental cup?
Full well I know that reverend form,
And if a voice could reach the dead, Those tones would reach thee, though the worm, My brother, makes thy heart his bed. That sire, who thy existence gave, Now stands beside thy lowly grave. It is not long since thou wert wont Within these sacred walls to kneel; This altar, that baptismal font,
These stones, which now thy dust conceal,
The sweet tones of the Sabbath-bell,
Were holiest objects to thy soul;
On these thy spirit loved to dwell,
Untainted by the world's control.
My brother, those were happy days,
When thou and I were children yet!
How fondly memory still surveys
Those scenes, the heart can ne'er forget! My soul was then, as thine is now, Unstained by sin, unstung by pain; Peace smiled on each unclouded browMine ne'er will be so calm again. How blithely then we hailed the ray Which ushered in the Sabbath-day! How lightly then our footsteps trod Yon pathway to the house of God! For souls in which no dark offence, Hath sullied childhood's innocence, Best meet the pure and hallowed shrine, Which guiltier bosoms own divine.
I feel not now as then I felt ;
The sunshine of my heart is o'er ; The spirit now is changed, which dwelt Within me, in the days of yore.
But thou wert snatched, my brother, hence
In all thy guileless innocence;
One Sabbath saw thee bend the knee,
In reverential piety,-
(For childish faults forgiveness crave,)—
The next beamed brightly on thy grave.
The crowd, of which thou late wert one,
Now throngs across thy burial stone;
Rude footsteps trample on the spot,
Where thou liest mouldering-not forgot;
And some few gentler bosoms weep
In silence o'er thy last long sleep.
I stood not by thy feverish bed,
I looked not on thy glazing eye,
Nor gently lulled thy aching head,
Nor viewed thy dying agony ;
I felt not what my parents felt,-
The doubt-the terror-the distress ;-
Nor vainly for my brother knelt ;—
My soul was spared that wretchedness :
One sentence told me, in a breath,
My brother's illness and his death!
And days of mourning glided by,
And brought me back my gaiety;
For soon in childhood's wayward heart,
Doth crushed affection cease to smart.
Again I joined the sportive crowd
Of boyish playmates, wild and loud;
I learnt to view with careless eye
My sable garb of misery;
No more I wept my brother's lot,—
His image was almost forgot;
And every deeper shade of pain
Had vanished from my soul again.
The well-known morn, I used to greet
With boyhood's joy, at length was beaming,
And thoughts of home and raptures sweet
In every eye but mine were gleaming;
But I, amidst that youthful band
Of bounding hearts and beaming eyes,
Nor smiled nor spoke at joy's command,
Nor felt those wonted ecstacies!
I loved my home, but trembled now
To view my father's altered brow;
I feared to meet my mother's eye,
And hear her voice of agony;
I feared to view my native spot,
Where he who loved it now was not.
The pleasures of my home were fled ;-
My brother slumbered with the dead.
I drew near to my father's gate;
No smiling faces met me now,
I entered, -all was desolate,
Grief sat upon my mother's brow;
I heard her, as she kissed me, sigh;
A tear stood in my father's eye;
My little brothers round me pressed,
In gay, unthinking childhood blessed.
Long, long, that hour has passed; but when
Shall I forget its gloomy scene!
The Sabbath came. With mournful face
I sought my brother's burial-place;
That shrine, which when I last had viewed,
In vigour by my side he stood.
I gazed around with fearful eye:
All things reposed in sanctity.
I reached the chancel,-nought was changed: The altar decently arranged,
pure white cloth above the shrine,
The consecrated bread and wine,
All was the same. I found no trace
Of sorrow in that holy place.
One hurried glance I downward gave,-
My foot was on my brother's grave!
And years have passed—and thou art now
Forgotten in thy silent tomb;
And cheerful is my mother's brow;
My father's eye has lost its gloom;
And years have passed-and death has laid
Another victim by thy side;
With thee he roams, an infant shade,
But not more pure than thee he died.
Blest are ye both! your ashes rest
Beside the spot ye loved the best;
And that dear home, which saw your birth,
O'erlooks you in your bed of earth.
But who can tell what blissful shore
Your angel-spirits wander o'er!
And who can tell what raptures high
Now bless your immortality!
My boyish days are nearly gone ;
My breast is not unsullied now;
And worldly cares and woes will soon
Cut their deep furrows on my brow,—
And life will take a darker hue
From ills my brother never knew;
And I have made me bosom friends,
And loved, and linked my heart with others;
But who with mine his spirit blends,
As mine was blended with my brother's!
When years of rapture glided by,
The spring of life's unclouded weather,
Our souls were knit, and thou and I,
My brother, grew in love together.
The chain is broke that bound us then ;
When shall I find its like again!
ON THE WONDERS OF REDEMPTION.
THOU most indulgent, most tremendous Power!
Still more tremendous, for thy wondrous love!
That arms, with awe more awful, thy commands;
And foul transgression dips in sevenfold night;
How our hearts tremble at thy love immense!
In love immense, inviolably just!
Thou, rather than thy justice should be stained,
Did'st stain the cross; and work of wonders far