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The Rev. John Pierpont, is a native of Litchfield, Connecticut, where he was born 1785. He is now Minister of the Hollis-street Unitarian Church in Boston. The most perfect edition of his poems was published in 1840.
Was it the chime of a tiny bell,
That came so sweet to my dreaming ear,Like the silvery tones of a fairy's shell
That he winds on the beach, so mellow and clear,
Hark! the notes, on my ear that play,
“Passing away! passing away!” But no; it was not a fairy's shell,
Blown on the beach, so mellow and clear
Striking the hour, that fill’d my ear,
For a beautiful clock from the ceiling hung, And a plump little girl, for a pendulum, swung; (As you've sometimes seen, in a little ring That hangs in his cage, a Canary bird swing ;)
And she held to her bosom a budding bouquet, And, as she enjoy'd it, she seem'd to say,
“Passing away! passing away!" 0, how bright were the wheels, that told
Of the lapse of time, as they moved around slow! And the hands, as they swept o'er the dial of gold,
Seemed to point to the girl below.
Yet then, when expecting her happiest day,
!! While I gazed at that fair one's cheek, a shade
Of thought, or care, stole softly over,
Looking down on a field of blossoming clover.
wheels, That marched so calmly around above her, Was a little dimm'd,-as when evening steals Upon noon's hot face :-Yet one couldn't but
For she look'd like a mother, whose first babe lay
Rock'd on her breast, as she swung all day ;And she seem'd, in the same silver tone to say,
“Passing away! passing away!" While yet I look'd what a change there came!
Her eye was quench’d, and her cheek was wan: Stooping and staff”d was her wither'd frame,
Yet, just as busily, swung she on;
(Let me never forget till my dying day
“Passing away! passing away!"
His falchion flash'd along the Nile ;
His hosts he led through Alpine snows; O’er Moscow's towers, that shook the while,
His eagle flag unroll'd-and froze.
Here sleeps he now alone : not one
Of all the kings whose crowns he gave, Nor sire, nor brother, wife, nor son,
Hath ever seen or sought his grave.
Here sleeps he now alone; the star
That led him on from crown to crown Hath sunk; the nations from afar
Gazed as it faded and went down.
He sleeps alone : the mountain cloud
That night hangs round him, and the breath Of morning scatters, is the shroud
That wraps his mortal form in death.
Far, far below by storms is curl'd,
A stormy and inconstant world.
And from Siberia's wastes of snow,
The world he awed to mourn him? No: The only, the perpetual dirge
That's heard there, is the seabird's cry, The mournful murmur of the surge,
The cloud's deep voice, the wind's low sigh.
I CANNOT make him dead!
His fair sunshiny head
Yet, when my eyes, now dim
With tears, I turn to him,
I walk my parlour floor,
And, through the open door,
I'm stepping toward the hall
To give the boy a call;
I thread the crowded street;
A satchell'd lad I meet, With the same beaming eyes and colour'd hair:
And, as he's running by,
Follow him with my eye,
I know his face is hid
Under the coffin lid;
My hand that marble felt;
O'er it in prayer I knelt;
I cannot make him dead!
When passing by the bed,
My spirit and my eye
Seek it inquiringly, Before the thought comes that he is not there!
When, at the cool, gray break
Of day, from sleep I wake,
My soul goes up, with joy,
To Him who gave my boy, Then comes the sad thought that--he is not there!