Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, STANZAS ON THE DEATH OF A CHILD, by BERNARD BARTON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

STANZAS ON THE DEATH OF A CHILD, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: Though parental affection lament thee
Last Line: Through the god of the spirits of all!
Alternate Author Name(s): Quaker Poet
Subject(s): Death - Children; Death - Babies

THOUGH parental affection lament thee,
And anguish, which loves to recall
Thy image, may oft represent thee
As the fairest and loveliest of all:
Although I must feel for such sorrow,
There is so much bliss in thy lot,
That pain from thee pleasure may borrow,
And joy could not wish thee forgot.

When childhood, by sin yet untainted,
Gives up life, which it scarcely hath gain'd;
And, ere with affliction acquainted,
Hath its end and its object attain'd;
There is so much of sweet consolation,
To soften the sorrow we feel;
While we mourn the severe dispensation,
We bow to the hand which can heal.

Death comes not to such in his terrors,
His pains are half pangless to them;
Crimes have not succeeded to errors,
Nor conscience been rous'd to condemn.
The prospect before and behind them
Awakes not one heart-stinging sigh;
The season of suffering assign'd them
May be bitter, but soon is gone by.

There is much to relieve, and restore us
To peace, when the child which we lov'd
Hath ascended to glory before us,
Not unblest, though in mercy unprov'd!
Fond fancy gives birth to the feeling
That part of ourselves is at rest;
Hope, humble, but holy and healing,
Sheds its balm in the yet bleeding breast.

Who knows but the beings who bound us
With tenderest ties to this world,
Though unseen, may be hovering around us,
With their cherub-like pinions unfurl'd?
Although not to our senses permitted
To be visible, still they are near;
And the feelings they prompt are most fitted
To dry up the sorrowing tear.

They tell us that change of existence
Has not sever'd, but strengthen'd each tie;
And, that though we may think them at distance,
Yet still they are spiritually nigh.
There yet is an unbroken union,
Though mortality's curtain may fall;
And souls may keep up their communion,
Through the GOD of the spirits of all!

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