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Felicia Dorothea Hemans

Dirge

CALM on the bosom of thy God,
   Fair spirit, rest thee now!
E'en while with ours thy footsteps trod,
   His seal was on thy brow.

Dust, to its narrow house beneath!
   Soul, to its place on high!
They that have seen thy look in death
   No more may fear to die.

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Brandenburgh Harvest-Song

The corn, in golden light,
Waves o'er the plain;
The sickle's gleam is bright;
Full swells the grain.

Now send we far around
Our harvest lay!
-Alas! a heavier sound
Comes o'er the day!

On every breeze a knell
The hamlets pour,-
-We know its cause too well,
She is no more!

Her soft eye's blue,-
-Now o'er the gifts of God
Fall tears like dew!

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On My Mother's Birthday

Clad in all their brightest green,
This day verdant fields are seen;
The tuneful birds begin their lay,
To celebrate thy natal day.

The breeze is still, the sea is calm
And the whole scene combines to charm;
The flowers revive this charming May,
Because it is thy natal day.

The sky is blue, the day serene,
And only pleasure now is seen;
The rose, the pink, the tulip gay,
Combine to bless thy natal day.

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To A Younger Child

A Similar Occasion, 17 September, 1825.


Where sucks the bee now? Summer is flying;
Leaves on the grass-plot faded are lying;
Violets are gone from the grassy dell,
With the cowslip-cups, where the fairies dwell;
The rose from the garden hath passed away?
Yet happy, fair boy! is thy natal day.
For love bids it welcome, the love which hath smiled
Ever around thee, my gentle child!
Watching thy footsteps, and guarding thy bed,
And pouring out joy on thy sunny head.
Roses may vanish, but this will stay?
Happy and bright is thy natal day.

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To One Of The Author's Children

On His Birthday, 27 August, 1825.

THOU wak'st from happy sleep to play
With bounding heart, my boy!
Before thee lies a long bright day
Of summer and of joy.

Thou hast no heavy thought or dream
To cloud thy fearless eye;?
Long be it thus?life's early stream
Should still reflect the sky.

Yet ere the cares of life lie dim
On thy young spirit's wings,
Now in thy morn forget not Him
From whom each pure thought springs!

So in the onward vale of tears,
Where'er thy path may be,
When strength hath bowed to evil years?

[...] Read more

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O Thou Breeze of Spring!

O thou breeze of spring!
Gladdening sea and shore,
Wake the woods to sing,
Streams have felt the sighing
Of thy scented wing,
Let each found replying,
Hail thee, breeze of spring,
Once more!

O'er long-buried flowers
Passing, not in vain,
Odours in soft showers
Thou hast brought again,
Let the primrose greet thee,
Incense forth to meet thee -
Wake my heart no more!
No more!

From a funeral urn
Bower'd in leafy gloom,

[...] Read more

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Sonnet, For My Mother’s Birthday

AT thy approach, oh, sweet bewitching May!
Through ev'ry wood soft melodies resound;
On silken wings Favonian breezes play,
And scatter bloom and fragrance all around!

Yet not for these I hail thy gentle reign,
And rove enchanted through thy fairy bow'rs;
Not for thy warbled songs, thy zephyr-train,
Nor all the incense of thy glowing flow'rs.

For this to thee I pour the artless lay,
Oh, lovely May! thou goddess of the grove!
With thee returns the smiling natal day,
Of her, who claims my fond, my filial love!
Bright as thy sun-beams may it still appear,
Calm as thy skies, unclouded with a tear!

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Sonnet To Italy

FOR thee, Ansonia! Nature's bounteous hand,
Luxuriant spreads around her blooming stores;
Profusion laughs o'er all the glowing land,
And softest breezes from thy myrtle-shores.

Yet though for thee, unclouded suns diffuse
Their genial radiance o'er thy blushing plains;
Though in thy fragrant groves the sportive muse
Delights to pour her wild, enchanted strains;

Though airs that breathe of paradise are thine,
Sweet as the Indian, or Arabian gales;
Though fruitful olive and empurpling vine,
Enrich, fair Italy! thy Alpine vales;
Yet far from thee inspiring freedom flies,
To Albion's coast and ever-varying skies!

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Sonnet To Italy

FOR thee, Ansonia! Nature's bounteous hand,
Luxuriant spreads around her blooming stores;
Profusion laughs o'er all the glowing land,
And softest breezes from thy myrtle-shores.

Yet though for thee, unclouded suns diffuse
Their genial radiance o'er thy blushing plains;
Though in thy fragrant groves the sportive muse
Delights to pour her wild, enchanted strains;

Though airs that breathe of paradise are thine,
Sweet as the Indian, or Arabian gales;
Though fruitful olive and empurpling vine,
Enrich, fair Italy! thy Alpine vales;
Yet far from thee inspiring freedom flies,
To Albion's coast and ever-varying skies!

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The Lilies Of The Field

Flowers! when the Saviour's calm benignant eye
Fell on your gentle beauty; when from you
That heavenly lesson for all hearts He drew,
Eternal, universal, as the sky;
Then, in the bosom of your purity
A voice He set as in a temple-shrine,
That life's quick travellers ne'er might pass you by,
Unwarn'd of that sweet oracle divine.
And though too oft its low, celestial sound,
By the harsh notes of work-day care is drown'd,
And the loud steps of vain, unlistening haste;
Yet the great Ocean hath no tone of power
Mightier to reach the soul in thought's hush'd hour,
Than yours, meek lilies! - chosen thus and graced.

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