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To J. S.
THE wind, that beats the mountain, blows
And me this knowledge bolder made,
'Tis strange that those we lean on most, Those in whose laps our limbs are nursed,
Fall into shadow, soonest lost:
Those we love first are taken first.
God gives us love.
Something to love
He lends us; but, when love is grown
To ripeness, that on which it throve
He will not smile.
Once more. Empty before us.
This is the curse of time. Alas!
In grief I am not all unlearned;
One went, who never hath returned.
not speak to me
Two years his chair is seen
Without whose life I had not been.
Your loss is rarer; for this star
Rose with you through a little arc Of heaven, nor having wandered far, Shot on the sudden into dark.
I knew your brother: his mute dust
I honor, and his living worth: A man more pure and bold and just Was never born into the earth.
I have not looked upon you nigh,
Since that dear soul hath fallen asleep.
Great Nature is more wise than I:
I will not tell you not to weep.
And though my own eyes fill with dew, Drawn from the spirit through the brain,
I will not even preach to you,
'Weep, weeping dulls the inward pain.”
Let Grief be her own mistress still.
She loveth her own anguish deep
More than much pleasure. Let her will
to weep or not to weep.
I will not say "God's ordinance
Of Death is blown in every wind;"
For that is not a common chance
That takes away a noble mind.
His memory long will live alone
In all our hearts, as mournful light
Memory standing near
Cast down her eyes, and in her throat
Her voice seemed distant, and a tear
I wrote I know not what. In truth,
How should I soothe you anyway, Who miss the brother of your youth? Yet something I did wish to say:
For he too was a friend to me:
Both are my friends, and my true breast
Bleedeth for both; yet it may be
That only silence suiteth best.
Words weaker than your grief would make Grief more. 'T were better I should cease Although myself could almost take
The place of him that sleeps in peace :
Sleep sweetly, tender heart, in peace:
While the stars burn, the moons increase,
Sleep till the end, true soul and sweet.
Nothing comes to thee new or strange. Sleep full of rest from head to feet;
Lie still, dry dust, secure of change.