Landon in The Literary Gazette 1832/The Little Shroud

For other versions of this work, see The Little Shroud.


Literary Gazette, 28th April, 1832, Page 266


She put him on a snow-white shroud,
    A chaplet on his head;
And gathered early primroses
    To scatter o’er the dead.

She laid him in his little grave—
    'Twas hard to lay him there,
When spring was putting forth its flowers,
    And every thing was fair.

She had lost many children—now
    The last of them was gone;
And day and night she sat and wept
    Beside the funeral stone.

One midnight, while her constant tears
    Were falling with the dew,
She heard a voice, and lo! her child
    Stood by her weeping too!

His shroud was damp, his face was white:
    He said—"I cannot sleep,
Your tears have made my shroud so wet;
    Oh, mother, do not weep!"

Oh, love is strong!—the mother's heart
    Was filled with tender fears;
Oh, love is strong!—and for her child
    Her grief restrained its tears.

One eve a light shone round her bed,
    And there she saw him stand—
Her infant, in his little shroud,
    A taper in his hand.

"Lo! mother, see my shroud is dry,
    And I can sleep once more!"
And beautiful the parting smile
    The little infant wore.

And down within the silent grave
    He laid his weary head;
And soon the early violets
    Grew o'er his grassy bed.

The mother went her household ways—
    Again she knelt in prayer,
And only asked of Heaven its aid
    Her heavy lot to bear.
L. E. L. *

* The hints for these poems have been taken from the German. Two were mentioned to me in conversation; but that of "the Little Shroud" was translated, in prose, a week or so ago, in that most entertaining little paper the Original, which also did me the honour of recommending it to me.