Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A DAUGHTER'S MEMORY, by MARY L. LAWSON

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A DAUGHTER'S MEMORY, by            
First Line: My father, by the simple stone
Last Line: That soar from earth beyond the sky.
Subject(s): Fathers & Daughters

MY father, by the simple stone
That marks thy grave I stand alone;
The birds with joyous love-notes sing
A welcome to the early spring;
The cloudless skies, the balmy air,
And soft young flowers, proclaim it fair;
But now their gladness can impart
No sense of beauty to thy heart.

Yet first I learnt from thee to trace
Each varying hue on nature's face,
Its teachings bade thy spirit move
My heart to deeper truth and love;
For varied lore, arranged, defined,
Was graven in thine active mind,
And every path thy footstep trod
Seem'd written with the name of God.

And well remembrance wakes for me
My ne'er-forgotten walks with thee;
How oft we paused with thoughtful eye,
To mark the changes of the sky;
Or idly linger'd, to inhale
The breathings of the summer gale,
On bird and tree and flower to look,
As pages in Creation's book.

Then questions of thy boyhood's day
Would lead thy musing soul away;
And, borne along by memory's tide,
Came visions of thy native Clyde,
The ripple of the mountain rills,
The heather-scent from breezy hills,
Until thy glance would brightly beam
With interest in thy chosen theme.

I listen'd then with eager ear
The tales of other days to hear,
For oft thy voice would lead me back
From life's insipid daily track,
To wild romance and warfare rude,
That mingle in old Scotland's mood,
For thou didst know and paint them well,
And wandering fancy warm'd the spell.

My father, how the tear-drop swells
As o'er the past my vision dwells,
When I have stood beside thy chair
And smooth'd and kiss'd thy silver hair,
Whose silken threads are dearer now
Than hope's gay dream or lover's vow,
For life can hold no joy for me
More cherish'd than my thoughts of thee.

And thou hast left a name behind
That Art must prize and Science find;
Thy talents to the world are known,
But dearer memories are my own.
Though all approve the stainless worth
That sleeps beneath this spot of earth,
The kindness that awakens love
Thy children's hearts alone can prove

No gorgeous tomb in words proclaim
Thine honest truth and well-earn'd fame,
Nor sculptured urn, nor heartless praise,
The stranger's studied care betrays;
But thou wert fondly laid to rest
Where tender tears thy grave have blest,
Embalm'd in feelings pure and high,
That soar from earth beyond the sky.

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