The Mourner

Low sinks the sun beneath the western wave,
And twilight deepens in the eastern sky;
Pale is the gloom that shades yon lonely grave,
Where, twined in death, two lovely sisters lie.

Slow wave the boughs above their clay-cold bed,
And sighing zephyrs breathe a mournful sound;
Hushed is each song,—each beam of day is fled,
And chilly dew-drops softly fall around.

As fades the gleam of day, the cypress-gloom
Weaves its dark curtain o'er the lonely grave;
Pale moonbeams sadly glisten on the tomb,
As evening mists the weeping marble lave.

There bending o'er the turf, where violets shed
Their sweetest fragance on the passing gale,
A pensive maiden droops her downcast head,
And breathes in angel strains a mourner's wail.

Her cheek is white,—no rose is blushing there;
The tear of grief has dimmed her sparkling eye;
Loose o'er her shoulders falls her flowing hair;
Faint from her lips is heard the feeble sigh.

Sweet mourner! thou hast lost thy joy,—thy all;
No sister now shall meet thee with her smile,—
Ne'er shalt thou run at Mary's gentle call,
No more shall Laura's voice thy heart beguile.

Cold is that lip, where played the smile of love,—
Pale is that cheek, which vied the rose of May,—
Quenched is that eye, once meekly raised above,—
Hushed is that voice,—that soul has flown away.

How calm they sleep!—the storm is heard no more;
This world shall never bid them weep again;
This scene of toil and weariness is o'er,
Soothed into Heaven's own peace is every pain.

Then let thy tears, dear maid! no longer flow:
Wouldst thou confine a soul that seeks the sky?
Wouldst thou recall it to a world of woe,
And dim with grief that now exulting eye?

Nay, dry thy tears,—for see, they bend in love,
And drop the dew of pity on thy head;
Their love the tenderness that smiles above,—
Their tears the crystal drops that angels shed.

How sweetly sleep their forms, in death enshrined!
And as they loved in this dark vale of woe,
So 'neath the heaving clod, in death entwined,
And locked in love's embrace, they rest below.

They could not part: Heaven saw, with pitying eye,
How fond they loved, and joined their souls in death,
And kindly bade the sad survivor's sigh
Become the dying Christian's parting breath.

Slow on the breeze the bending willows wave;
That marble monument how coldly fair!
Still is that tomb, and dark that lonely grave;
But meek Religion smiles serenely there.

Still flow thy tears, a brother bids them flow:
He, who was once so dear, is now no more;
Safe he is rescued from this world of woe,
And let us hope has found a happier shore.

Far, far from thee he closed his dying eye:
No sister's hand was there to give relief;
But still Affection o'er him breathed her sigh,
And weeping Fondness shed the tears of grief.

Friends, who could calm his heart and dry his tear,
Around his dying couch in sorrow stood;
O'er him that form his bosom held most dear,
Low bending, wept affection's purest flood.

Soft was the pillow where his parting breath
Hung faintly trembling on his lips of snow;
Bereft of half its stings, the dart of death
Deep in his bosom gave the fatal blow.

His eye is dim,—his cheek has lost its glow;
Cold is his stiffened hand, and mute his tongue;
White as the waving drift of mountain snow,
Those lips where sounds of love and sweetness hung.

His soul—here darkness spreads her gloomy veil,
But Hope, the cherub, points to worlds on high:
He may be happy,—cease thy plaintive wail,
And wipe the tear of anguish from thy eye.
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