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194
TWO WOMEN.


CAROLINE ELIZABETH SARAH NORTON

(LADY STIRLING-MAXWELL).

Born, 1809. Died, June 15, 1877.

One lived for grace — one lived for good; so runs,
In brief, the record of two women's claims,
Whose lives, unlike, closed with close-following suns,
Bequeathing memories diverse as their fames.

One, the famed daughter of a famous line,
With grace and charm, with wit and beauty dowered,
Yet on whose power to please, and will to shine,
Some adverse star malignant influence showered.

Her bridal wreath was blent with weeds of strife:
An ill world's ill report, by party aimed,
Fleshed its foul shafts in her unguarded life,
Until fair-weather friendship shrank afraid,

And hate and envy gave their tongues free play
On the proud soul that would not be o'erborne,
But strove to show brave face to bleakest day,
And hid her wounds, and gave back scorn for scorn:

And sang her song, and smiled her smile, and staunched
Her tears to strain her children to her breast,
But death's pale blight her hope's bright blossom blanched,
And left her all but lone in dark unrest.

Till time and fair life bore down ill-report,
And grief in patience, if not peace, was lost;
And she lived on, and sang, and held her court,
And dwelt in memories of the loved and lost.

Still beautiful, still graceful, with her voice
Of low, sweet music, and her gift of song;
Tenacious of the friendships of her choice, —
Fast because wisely made as cherished long.

Truest of all, the friend who, at the last,
Gave her marred life the shelter of his name,
And a short sunshine o'er her evening cast,
Denied her in the morning of her fame.

Noble of soul as beautiful, endowed
With all that should have crowned a life with joy, —
Well for her she has passed beyond the cloud,
Tended by faithful love, to join her boy.




MARY CARPENTER.

Born, April 1807. Died, June 14, 1877.

Not on the heights of England's proud estate,
Where its spoilt children keep their giddy round,
The other learned to weigh man and man's fate,
Studied life's lessons and life's labor found.

But in a frugal, pure, and peaceful home,
A place of sober learning, learned to see,
Through faith and trust in God's good time to come,
That where ill is, good may, and will, yet be.

Her parents' help, her sisters', brothers' guide,
She grew as high of heart, as mild of mood;
With power o'er youth's rebelliousness and pride,
As one that from her own youth up was good.

And early fixed her mind, and chose her part,
To work in the high faith which few can feel,
That there's a spring of good in every heart,
So you have love its fountain to unseal.

This faith it was that marked a course for her,
And braced her for its trouble and its toil,
Cheered her 'gainst proofs how much the best may err,
And kept her pure as snow from taint or soil.

Out of the scaffold's shadow and the dark
Of lives from youth up weaned of light and air,
She gathered sinking souls into her ark
Of love that rode the deluge of despair.

'Twas she first drew our city waifs and strays
Within the tending of the Christian fold,
With eyes of love for the averted gaze
Of a world prompt to scourge and shrill to scold.

From seeds she sowed — in season mattered not,
Or out — for good all seasons are the same —
Sprang new appliances, of love begot,
Lost lives to save, and wanderers reclaim.

Nor at home only; when her hair was white
She crossed the sea, on India to bestow
The love that England prized at length aright,
Following leads she was the first to show.

Not from far Pisgah only did she view
The promised land, but lived its soil to tread;
And dies bequeathing work for us to do,
While praise and blessing crown her reverend head!