Who died on the 17th of Ninth mo., 1836, a devoted
BY JOHN G. WHITTIER.
Gone to thy Heavenly Father’s rest—
The flowers of Eden round thee blowing!
And, on thine ear, the murmurs blest
Of Shiloah’s waters softly flowing!
Beneath that tree of life which gives
To all the earth its healing leaves—
In the white robe of angels clad,
And wandering by that sacred river,
Whose streams of holiness make glad
The city of our God forever!
Gentlest of spirits!—not for
Our tears are shed, our sighs are given:
Why mourn to know thou art a free
Partaker of the joys of Heaven?
Finished thy work, and kept thy faith
In Christian firmness unto death—
And beautiful as sky and earth,
When Autumn’s sun is downward going,
The blessed memory of thy worth
Around thy place of slumber glowing!
But, wo for us I—who linger
With feebler strength and hearts less lowly,
And minds less steadfast to the will
Of Him, whose every work is holy!
For not like thine, is crucified
The spirit of our human pride:
And at the bondman’s tale of woe,
And for the outcast and forsaken,
Not warm like thine, but cold and slow,
Our weaker sympathies awaken!
Darkly upon our struggling way
The storm of human hate is sweeping;
Hunted and branded, and a prey,
Our watch amidst the darkness keeping!
Oh! for that hidden strength which can
Nerve unto death the inner man!
Oh—for thy spirit tried and true
And constant in the hour of trial—
Prepared to suffer or to do
In meekness and in self-denial.
Oh, for that spirit meek and mild,
Derided, spurned, yet uncomplaining—
By man deserted and reviled,
Yet faithful to its trust remaining.
Still prompt and resolute to save
From scourge and chain the hunted slave!
Unwavering in the truth’s defence
E’en where the fires of hate are burning,
The unquailing eye of innocence
Alone upon the oppressor turning!
Oh, loved of thousands! to thy grave,
Sorrowing of heart, thy brethren bore thee!
The poor man and the rescued slave
Wept as the broken earth closed o’er thee—
And grateful tears, like summer rain,
Quickened its dying grass again!—
And there, as to some pilgrim shrine,
Shall come the outcast and the lowly,
Of gentle deeds and words of thine
Recalling memories sweet and holy!
Oh, for the death the righteous die!
An end, like Autumn’s day declining,
On human hearts, as on the sky,
With holier, tenderer beauty shining!
As to the parting soul were given
The radiance of an opening heaven!
As if that pure and blessed light
From off the eternal altar flowing,
Were bathing in its upward flight
The spirit to its worship going!