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When towers and temples fall, to speak of Thee! If sculptured emblems of our mortal doom Recall not there the wisdom of the Tomb,
55 Green ivy risen from out the cheerful earth Will fringe the lettered stone; and herbs spring
forth, Whose fragrance, by soft dews and rain un
bound, Shall penetrate the heart without a wound; While truth and love their purposes fulfil, Commemorating genius, talent, skill, That could not lie concealed where Thou wert
known; Thy virtues He must judge, and He alone, The God upon whose mercy they are thrown.
WRITTEN AFTER THE DEATH OF
To a good Man of most dear memory
5 By duty chained. Not seldom did those tasks Tease, and the thought of time so spent depress, His spirit, but the recompence was high ; Firm Independence, Bounty's rightful sire; Affections, warın as sunshine, free as air ; And when the precious hours of leisure came, Knowledge and wisdom, gained from converse
With books, or while he ranged the crowded
streets With a keen eye, and overflowing heart: So genius triumphed over seeming wrong, And poured out truth in works by thoughtful
love Inspired—works potent over smiles and tears. And as round mountain-tops the lightning
plays, Thus innocently sported, breaking forth As from a cloud of some grave sympathy, Humour and wild instinctive wit, and all The vivid flashes of his spoken words. From the most gentle creature nursed in fields Had been derived the name he bore a name, Wherever christian altars have been raised, 25 Hallowed to meekness and to innocence; And if in him meekness at times gave way, Provoked out of herself by troubles strange, Many and strange, that hung about his life; Still, at the centre of his being, lodged A soul by resignation sanctified: And if too often, self-reproached, he felt That innocence belongs not to our kind, A power that never ceased to abide in him, Charity, 'mid the multitude of sins That she can cover, left not his exposed To an unforgiving judgment from just Heaven. 0, he was good, if e'er a good Man lived !
From a reflecting mind and sorrowing heart 39 Those simple lines flowed with an earnest wish, Though but a doubting hope, that they might
Fitly to guard the precious dust of him
For much that truth most urgently required
Thou wert a scorner of the fields, my Friend, But more in show than truth; and from the
fields, And from the mountains, to thy rural grave Transported, my soothed spirit hovers o'er Its green untrodden turf, and blowing flowers ; And taking up a voice shall speak (tho' still 55 Awed by the theme's peculiar sanctity Which words less free presumed not even to
touch) Of that fraternal love, whose heaven-lit lamp From infancy, through manhood, to the last Of threescore years, and to thy latest hour, 60 Burnt on with ever-strengthening light, en
shrined Within thy bosom.
Wonderful" hath been The love established between man and man,
Passing the love of women; and between Man and his help-mate in fast wedlock joined 65 Through God, is raised a spirit and soul of love Without whose blissful influence Paradise Had been no Paradise; and earth were now A waste where creatures bearing human form, Direst of savage beasts, would roam in fear, 70 Joyless and comfortless. Our days glide on; And let him grieve who cannot choose but
grieve That he hath been an Elm without his Vine, And her bright dower of clustering charities,
That, round his trunk and branches, might have clung
75 Enriching and adorning. Unto thee, Not so enriched, not so adorned, to thee Was given (say rather thou of later birth Wert given to her) a Sister-'tis a word Timidly uttered, for she lives, the meek, The self-restraining, and the ever-kind; In whom thy reason and intelligent heart Found—for all interests, hopes, and tender
All softening, humanising, hallowing powers, Whether withheld, or for her sake unsoughtMore than sufficient recompence!
Her love (What weakness prompts the voice to tell it
here?) Was as the love of mothers; and when years, Lifting the boy to man's estate, had called The long protected to assume the part Of a protector, the first filial tie Was undissolved ; and, in or out of sight, Remained imperishably interwoven With life itself. Thus, 'mid a shifting world, Did they together testify of time And season's difference-a double tree With two collateral stems sprungfrom one root; Such were they—such thro’ life they might have
been In union, in partition only such; Otherwise wrought the will of the Most High; Yet, thro' all visitations and all trials, Stillthey were faithful; like two vessels launched From the same beach one ocean to explore With mutual help, and sailing—to their league True, as inexorable winds, or bars
105 Floating or fixed of polar ice, allow.
But turn we rather, let my spirit turn With thine, O silent and invisible Friend! To those dear intervals, nor rare nor brief, When reunited, and by choice withdrawn From miscellaneous converse, ye were taught That the remembrance of foregone distress, And the worse fear of future ill (which oft Doth hang around it, as a sickly child Upon its mother) may be both alike
115 Disarmed of power to unsettle present good So prized, and things inward and outward held In such an even balance, that the heart Acknowledges God's grace, his mercy feels, And in its depth of gratitude is still.
O gift divine of quiet sequestration !
And feeding daily on the hope of heaven,
I To the blest world where parting is unknown.
EXTEMPORE EFFUSION UPON THE
DEATH OF JAMES HOGG.
WHEN first, descending from the moorlands,