Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, STANZAS, OCCASIONED BY THE DEATH OF A RELATIVE ABROAD, by BERNARD BARTON



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STANZAS, OCCASIONED BY THE DEATH OF A RELATIVE ABROAD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Thou sleep'st far from the land of thy birth
Last Line: Peace be with its memory here!
Alternate Author Name(s): Quaker Poet
Subject(s): Graves; Tombs; Tombstones


THOU sleep'st far from the land of thy birth,
But thy name, and thy memory are dear;
And, though foreign thy grave, its fresh earth,
Closing o'er thee, was wet with a tear.

The warm tear of affection!—as true,
As sincere, and as kind,—as if drawn
From fond eyes, which here wept for thee too,
And had watch'd thee from infancy's morn.

But, though bitter the tidings appear'd,
Which told us that thou wert no more;
And though painful it was, ere we fear'd,
To find that suspense was all o'er:—

And though mournful it was, as we read
The last record thy love had addrest,
To reflect that it came from—the dead!
Now, for thee, every care is at rest.

Thou art number'd with those who can know
Neither sickness, nor sorrow, nor pain;
From whose bright eyes no tears ever flow,
And whom death cannot conquer again.

For their God dwells among them;—and they
See his face, and rejoice in its light;
And his presence is pledge of their day,
For his glory has banish'd the night.

Since such the fruition—that Faith
Suggests to thy spirit as given;
Can we mourn, although sudden thy death,
And distant thy transit to heaven?

No! it surely were selfish indeed,
To regret that thy troubles are o'er;
Reason's law, Christianity's creed,
Commands us to sorrow no more.

But to think of thee, now, as of one
Remov'd far from sorrow's control;
Whose brief race of existence is run,
And hath ended at Glory's last goal.

Perhaps He, whose omniscience transcends
All wisdom to mortals made known,
But conducted thee far from thy friends,
To make thee more truly his own.

For it is not while here we sojourn,
Encircled by all we love best,
That our hearts are most likely to learn
This is not the place of our rest!

That place of true rest thou hast found;
At least so we humbly may trust,
Nor boots it, though foreign the ground
Where thy reliques may moulder to dust.

For thy spirit, redeem'd through HIS love,
Which alone can redeem,—sought its fear;
Joys immortal surround it above:—
Peace be with its memory here!





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