Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO THE MEMORY OF A FAVOURITE CHILD; THE DAUGHTER OF A FRIEND, by LETITIA ELIZABETH LANDON



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TO THE MEMORY OF A FAVOURITE CHILD; THE DAUGHTER OF A FRIEND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Her voice is on the haunted air
Last Line: An altar for my prayers and tears.
Alternate Author Name(s): L. E. L.; Maclean, Letitia
Subject(s): Death - Children; Death - Babies


HER voice is on the haunted air.
Her face is in the scene;
To me there is no other trace
But where her steps have been.
Not with the passionate despair
With which I turned from Heaven,
And asked how could it take again
The treasure it had given;
Not with that earlier wild despair,
Now gaze I upon earth and air.

A meeker sorrow now subdues
The soul that looks above,
Soothed by the sanctity that dwells
Around departed love.
I do not grieve as once I grieved,
When by thy funeral stone
I flung me in my first despair,
And knew I was alone.
Gradual thy God has given me
To know this world was not for thee.

Thy angel-nature was not made
For struggle or for care;
Thou wert too gentle and too good
For Heaven long to spare.
Thou wert but sent a little while
To soothe and to sustain;
The angels missed thee from their band
And asked for thee again:
But not till thou hadst given birth
To many a holy thought on earth.

Thy influence is with me still
My own beloved child;
For thy sake hath my spirit grown
Calm -- hopeful -- strong, yet mild.
I look to heaven as to thy home,
And feel that there must be --
So deep the tie that draws me there --
Some lowly place for me.
The faith that springeth from the tomb
Nor mortal fears nor doubts consume.

I think upon thy early years
Not as I used to think,
With bitterness and vain regret,
And hopes that sprang to shrink,
But with a solemn fond belief
That we shall meet again:
Thy piety -- thy sweet content --
Could never be in vain;
Taken alike wert thou, and given,
To win thy kindred unto heaven.

It was the lovely autumn time
When hither thou wert brought;
Not for the lovely scenes around,
But for thy health we sought.
For there was in thy large blue eyes
Too beautiful a light,
And on thy young transparent cheek
The rose was over-bright;
And the clear temples showed too plain
The branching of each azure vein.

Too soon we saw it was in vain
That we had brought thee here:
For every day thou wert more weak,
And every day more dear.
Thy hand -- how white and small that hand!
Could scarcely hold the flowers
Which yet were brought thee, with the dew
Of early morning hours.
I seem to look upon them now
Yet, where are they? -- and where art thou? --

Where art thou? -- if I dare to ask,
'Tis more with hope than fear;
In every high and tender thought
I seem to feel thee near.
I gaze upon the silent stars,
While lone and still they shine,
As each one were a spirit's home,
And ask, Which home is thine?
I feel as if thy tranquil eyes
Were watching earth from yonder skies.

God bless thee! my beloved child,
As thou hast blessed me;
Faith, hope, and love, beyond the grave
Have been thy gifts to me.
For thy sake dare I look above,
For thy sake wait below,
Trusting with humble confidence,
And patient in my woe.
To me thy early grave appears
An altar for my prayers and tears.





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