When Cold in the Earth
When cold in the earth lies the friend thou hast loved,
Be his faults and his follies forgot by thee then;
Or, if from their slumber the veil be removed,
Weep o'er them in silence, and close it again.
And oh! if 'tis pain to remember how far
From the pathways of light he was tempted to roam,
Be it bliss to remember that thou wert the star
That arose on his darkness, and guided him home.
From thee and thy innocent beauty first came
The revealings, that taught him true love to adore,
To feel the bright presence, and turn him with shame
From the idols he blindly had knelt to before.
O'er the waves of a life, long benighted and wild,
Thou camest, like a soft golden calm o'er the sea;
And if happiness purely and glowingly smiled
On his evening horizon, the light was from thee.
And though sometimes the shades of past folly might rise,
And though falsehood again would allure him to stray,
He but turn'd to the glory that dwelt in those eyes,
And the folly, the falsehood, soon vanish'd away.
As the Priests of the Sun, when their altar grew dim,
At the day-beam alone could its lustre repair,
So, if virtue a moment grew languid in him,
He but flew to that smile and rekindled it there.
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