Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON THE DEATH OF A DAUGHTER, by RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

ON THE DEATH OF A DAUGHTER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Tis o'er, - in that long sigh she past
Last Line: "the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth!"
Alternate Author Name(s): Ingoldsby, Thomas
Subject(s): Death - Children; Death - Babies

'T IS o'er,—in that long sigh she past—
Th' enfranchised spirit soars at last!

And now I gaze with tearless eye
On what to view was agony.
That panting heart is tranquil now,
And heavenly calm that ruffled brow,
And those pale lips which feebly strove
To force one parting smile of love,
Retain it yet,—soft, placid, mild,
As when it graced my living child.

O, I have watched with fondest care
To see my opening flow'ret blow,
And felt the joy which parents share,
The pride which fathers only know.

And I have sat the long, long night,
And marked that tender flower decay;
Not torn abruptly from the sight,
But slowly, sadly, waste away!
The spoiler came, yet paused, as though
So meek a victim checked his arm,
Half gave and half withheld the blow,
As forced to strike, yet loath to harm.

We saw that fair cheek's fading bloom
The ceaseless canker-worm consume,
And gazed on hopelessly,
Till the mute suffering pictured there
Wrung from the father's lip a prayer,
O God! the prayer his child might die.

Ay, from his lip—the doting heart
E'en then refused to bear its part.

But the sad conflict's past,—'t is o'er;
That gentle bosom throbs no more!
The spirit's freed,—through realms of light
Faith's eagle-glance pursues her flight
To other worlds, to happier skies;
Hope dries the tear which sorrow weepeth,
No mortal sound, the voice which cries,
"The damsel is not dead, but sleepeth!"

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