To Mr. and Mrs.—, on the Death of Their Infant Son

O DEATH! whose sceptre, trembling realms obey,
And weeping millions mourn thy savage sway;
Say, shall we call thee by the name of friend,
Who blasts our joys, and bids our glories end?
Behold, a child who rivals op'ning morn,
When its first beams the eastern hills adorn;
So sweetly blooming once that lovely boy,
His father's hope, his mother's only joy,
Nor charms nor innocence prevail to save,
From the grim monarch of the gloomy grave!
Two moons revolve when lo! among the dead
The beauteous infant lays his weary head:
For long he strove the tyrant to withstand,
And the dread terrors of his iron hand;
Vain was his strife, with the relentless power,
His efforts weak; and this his mortal hour;
He sinks—he dies—celestial muse, relate,
His spirit's entrance at the sacred gate.
Methinks I hear the heav'nly courts resound,
The recent theme inspires the choirs around.
His guardian angel with delight unknown,
Hails his bless'd charge on his immortal throne;
His heart expands at scenes unknown before,
Dominions praise, and prostate thrones adore;
Before the Eternal's feet their crowns are laid,
The glowing seraph vails his sacred head.
Spirits redeem'd, that more than angels shine,
For nobler praises tune their harps divine:
These saw his entrance; his soft hand they press'd,
Sat on his throne, and smiling thus address'd,
“Hail: thou! thrice welcome to this happy shore,
Born to new life where changes are no more;
Glad heaven receives thee, and thy God bestows,
Immortal youth exempt from pain and woes.
Sorrow and sin, those foes to human rest,
Forever banish'd from thy happy breast.”
Gazing they spoke, and raptur'd thus replies,
The beauteous stranger in the etherial skies.
“Thus safe conducted to your bless'd abodes,
With sweet surprize I mix among the Gods;
The vast profound of this amazing grace,
Beyond your search, immortal powers, I praise;
Great Sire, I sing thy boundless love divine,
Mine is the bliss, but all the glory thine.”

All heav'n rejoices as your . . . sings,
To heavenly airs he tunes the sounding strings;
Mean time on earth the hapless parents mourn,
“Too quickly fled, ah! never to return.”
Thee, the vain visions of the night restore,
Illusive fancy paints the phantom o'er;
Fain would we clasp him, but he wings his flight;
Deceives our arms, and mixes with the night;
But oh! suppress the clouds of grief that roll,
Invading peace, and dark'ning all the soul.
Should heaven restore him to your arms again,
Oppress'd with woes, a painful endless train,
How would your prayers, your ardent wishes, rise,
Safe to repose him in his native skies.
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