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By Elizabeth Oakes Smith.
“Quorum pars magna fui.”
Oh! loveliest of the stars of Heaven,
Thus did ye walk the crystal dome,
When to the earth a child was given,
Within a love-lit, northern home;
Thus leading up the starry train,
With aspect still benign,
Ye move in your fair orbs again
As on that birth long syne.
Within her curtained room apart,
The pale young mother faintly smiled;
While warmly to a father’s heart
With love and prayer was pressed the child;
And, softly to the lattice led,
In whispers grandams show
How those presaging stars have shed
Around the child a glow.
Born in the glowing summer prime,
With planets thus conjoined in space
As if they watched the natal time,
And came to bless the infant face;
Oh! there was gladness in that bower,
And beauty in the sky;
And Hope and Love foretold a dower
Of brightest destiny.
Unconscious child! that smiling lay
Where love’s fond eyes, and bright stars gleamed,
How long and toilsome grew the way
O’er which those brilliant orbs had beamed;
How oft the faltering step drew back
In terror of the path,
When giddy steep, and wildering track
Seemed fraught with only wrath!
How oft recoiled the woman foot,
With tears that shamed the path she trod.
To find a canker at the root
Of every hope, save that in God!
And long, oh! long, and weary long,
Ere she had learned to feel
That Love, unselfish, deep, and strong,
Repays its own wild zeal.
Bright Hesperus! who on the eyes
Of Milton poured thy brightest ray!
Effulgent dweller of the skies,
Take not from me thy light away—
I look on thee, and I recall
The dreams of by-gone years—
O’er many a hope I lay the pall
With its becoming tears;
Yet turn to thee with thy full beam,
And bless thee, Oh love-giving star!
For life’s sweet, sad, illusive dream
Fruition, though in Heaven afar—
“A silver lining” hath the cloud
Through dark and stormiest night,
And there are eyes to pierce the shroud
And see the hidden light.