The Death of a Child.
There is no flock, however watched and tended,
But one dead lamb is there!
There is no fireside, howsoe'er defended,
But has one vacant chair!
The air is full of farewells to the dying,
And mournings for the dead;
The heart of Rachel for her children crying
Will not be comforted!
2 Let us be patient, these severe afflictions
Not from the ground arise,
But oftentimes celestial benedictions
Assume this dark disguise.
We see but dimly thro' the mists and vapors,
Amid these earthly damps,
What seem to us but sad, funereal tapers,
May be heav'ns distant lamps.
3 She is not dead, the child of our affection,
But gone unto that school
Where she no longer needs our poor protection,
And Christ himself doth rule.
In that great cloister's stillness and seclusion,
By guardian angels led,
Safe from temptation, safe from sin's pollution,
She lives whom we call dead.
4 And tho' at times, impetuous with emotion,
And anguish long suppressed,
The swelling heart heaves moaning like the ocean
That cannot be at rest:
We will be patient -- and assuage the feeling
We cannot wholly stay,
By silence sanctifying, not concealing
The grief that must have way.
Henry W. Longfellow, 1849.