The Dying Mother

The angels call me — Io, I come!
Children, I die! I'm going home!
All pangs, save one, have pass'd away,
All griefs and sufferings of clay,
Except this lingering, fond distress,
That yields not to forgetfulness —
The last affection of my heart,
The pain, the grief, that we must part.

No more! a hope to sorrow given
Says earthly love may bloom in heaven,
May soar, if pure, to God's right hand:
I go, I seek the happy land.
Ah! no, not yet; the sunshine fair
Revives me for a while: the air
Blows calm and cool. Oh, living breath!
It gives me strength to look on death.

It gives me courage to implore,
By all the love you ever bore, —
A foolish, fond, but last request, —
That you will choose my place of rest,
In the green fields, beneath a tree,
Where west winds linger lovingly,
Where dews may drop and buds may bloom,
And moonlight sleep upon my tomb.

I would not that my bones should lie
(Forgive the earthly vanity)
In rotting churchyards of the town,
Dishonor'd, public, trodden down,
To be disturb'd, untomb'd, exposed,
The secrets of my grave disclosed,
Ere kind decay had blurr'd the line
Of form and feature that were mine.

Although no pangs can touch our dust,
And death is stingless on the just,
Yet grant my prayer, and lay my clod
Far from the town, beneath the sod.
Who strews a flower, or drops a tear,
Or sighs, when passing crowds may hear —
Or watches fondly over graves
Where busy Traffic works her slaves?

Husband, I die — my peace is won;
I linger, but my race is run.
Oh! choose a grave where I may sleep,
Untroubled, in a silence deep;
Where thou, perchance, at evening's hour,
May'st o'er my headstone drop a flower;
And where each sunny Sabbath day,
The children may come forth to pray.

Farewell, the world! Come — kiss my lips!
My soul grows dark — 'tis life's eclipse.
Husband, farewell — I'm going hence —
I loved thee — love thee — parting sense
Abide, and let my tongue bestow
A mother's blessing ere I go.
The angels call me — Io! I come —
Children! I die — I'm going home!
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