Littell's Living Age/Volume 173/Issue 2240/In Memoriam Puellulæ Dulcissimæ. - D. P. W.

Littell's Living Age
Volume 173, Issue 2240 : In Memoriam Puellulæ Dulcissimæ. - D. P. W. by A. J. Church

Originally published in Spectator.


Ah! what is left for love to prize?

    A little dress or trinket toy

Which once could make the innocent eyes

    Brighten with glimpses of the joy

The woman feels in being fair —

    A chair left sadly in its place —

A little tress of chestnut hair —

    A little likeness of her face,

Ah! vacant of the living light

    Which magic sunbeam never gave —

And, on our city's northern height,

    Across a thousand streets — a grave.

No more, no more. O fruitless pain

    Of birth and nurture, wasted years

Of care, and watches watched in vain!

    O idle hopes! O idle fears!

'Tis well to tell us she is blest,

    That never sin or grief shall break

The quiet of her perfect rest.

    O God, but is it well to make

These desolate homes, that round thy throne

    Haply may stand in denser throng

The children-angels? Must the tone

    Of these pure voices swell the song

That hymns thee Lord of all, and leave

    These dreadful gaps of silence here?

O Lord, forgive us if we grieve

    Too wildly, if the starting tear

Confuse our vision; make us see

    What steadfast, changeless purpose runs

Through all thy ways, to bring to thee,

    Or soon or late, thy wandering sons.

Content if slow they come, for sake

    Of those they love, and loath to part

From what thou givest, thou dost take

    The treasure lest thou lose the heart.