The Filial Choice

D EATH ! — if, between us, it's the doom,
That one shall drop into the tomb,
From Time's account her spirit free!
But aim the destin'd shaft — at me!
Nor from its filial shrine remove
The jewel of a Mother's love!
She is, of all I lov'd, the last;
With prayers to thee, I hold her fast:
The living death , fills me with dread,
Not the dark " chamber of the dead . "
The living death , in such a world,
As me from Hope's gay summits hurl'd,
And made all other Loves depart,
In Fortune's gale, that shifts the heart:
One gentle voice the mourner cheer'd;
One soothing arm the helpless rear'd;
One spirit prompted me to live ,
And gave me courage, to forgive:
No sting is on the bed of Death,
If She can bless the parting breath.
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