The Literary Maiden

A compendium of obscure 19th century writing.

Tag: mourning

“Calm Be Her Sleep” by William Jones

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Calm Be Her Sleep!
William Jones
From Bentley’s Miscellany, Volume 13, pg. 595

Calm be her sleep! as the breast of the ocean,
When the sun is reclining upon its still wave;
She dreams not of life, nor its stormy commotion,
For the surges of trouble recede from her grave!

Calm be her sleep! as the winds that are sighing
Their last faintest echo amid the green trees;
No murmur can reach her—unconsciously lying,
She heeds not the tempest, she hears not the breeze!

Calm be her sleep! as the flower that closes
Its beautiful petal in night’s chilling air!
She has folded her shroud too, and sweetly reposes—
Oh! far be the sorrow that dimm’d one so fair!

Calm be her sleep! as the whisper of even,
When the hands have been clasp’d, and the knees bent in pray’r:
She has chanted her hymn at the portal of heaven,
And found the affection denied to her here!

Calm be her sleep! may the breathing of slander
O’ershade not the pillow bedew’d with our tears!
Away from her turf may the cruel words wander
That clothed her young spirit in darkness and fears!

Calm be her sleep! may the tall grass wave lightly
Above the meek bosom that bless’d us of yore;
Like a bird, it has found out a region more brightly
To nestle its pinion,—but glad us no more!

“Epitaph Upon a Dog” by Charles Fenno Hoffman

Epitaph Upon a Dog[*]
By Charles Fenno Hoffman
From the New-York Book of Poetry, 1837.

An ear that caught my slightest tone
In kindness or in anger spoken;
An eye that ever watch’d my own
In vigils death alone has broken;
Its changeless, ceaseless, and unbought
Affection to the last revealing;
Beaming almost with human thought,
And more than human feeling!

Can such in endless sleep be chilled,
And mortal pride disdain to sorrow,
Because the pulse that here was stilled
May wake to no immortal morrow?
Can faith, devotedness, and love,
That seem to humbler creatures given
To tell us what we owe above!
The types of what is due to Heaven?

Can these be with the things that were,
Things cherished—but no more returning;
And leave behind no trace of care,
No shade that speaks a moment’s mourning?
Alas! my friend, of all of worth,
That years have stol’n or years yet leave me,
I’ve never known so much on earth,
But that the loss of thine must grieve me.

[*]Today we lost our sweet cat. He was 21.