Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, STANZAS, ON THE DEATH OF LIEUT. P., by BERNARD BARTON



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STANZAS, ON THE DEATH OF LIEUT. P., by             Poet's Biography
First Line: There is a sacred tribute claim'd
Last Line: And child.
Alternate Author Name(s): Quaker Poet
Subject(s): Death; Dead, The


THERE is a sacred tribute claim'd
By Nature's parting hour for all;
By Fame applauded, or unnam'd
There are who live to mourn their fall.

Whate'er their rank, or sex, or age,
There are to whom they once were dear;
And when they quit this busy stage,
They claim their tributary tear.

Death has its victims too, appealing
To hearts whom kindred does not bind;
Save that pure tie of finer feeling,
Which links congenial mind to mind.

When each proud promise Nature gave
Of form, of face, of mind, of all,
Has perish'd in the untimely grave,
Who but must mourn such victim's fall?

Lamented Youth! to memory's eye
Thy form now rises on the view;
E'en as it was in hours gone by,
In fairest tints of health's bright hue.

That pallid cheek is kindling still
With youthful hope's delightful red;
That eye's bright glance, now cold and chill,
Still seems its sparkling beams to shed.

Vain, Memory! vain thy partial spell:
Thou canst not to the eye repair
The painful void; but thou mayest dwell
Within our hearts, and lighten there.

In his who feels a Father's wo,
Soothe Sorrow's deepest, keenest thrill;
And make him, like old Ormond,^1^ know
That e'en the dead are lovely still.

And oh! in her's, whose patient zeal,
In the long, lingering hours of pain,
Oft made the sinking sufferer feel
The force of Nature's severing chain;

In her's, O Memory! gently shed
Around the past that chasten'd charm,
Which gives, to joys for ever fled,
Bliss yet more touching, pure, and calm.

As, when the silent Queen of Night,
By silvery clouds surrounded, beams,
She does not vanish from our sight,
But to the eye still lovelier seems;

So round the dead, does memory fling
A Halo, which endears them more;
And cherish'd feelings fondly cling
To what seems lovelier than before.

^FOOTNOTE^

^1^The earl of Ormond, when condoled with on the death of his son, Lord
Ossory, nobly replied, that he would not exchange his dead son for any living
one in Christendom. It was a fine burst of feeling, equally honorable to parent
and child.





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