Gone Before (In Memory Of A Pupil) by Mrs J C Yule

Thou art but gone before–
Gone to that unknown shore
Toward which my feet are journeying swiftly on
Thou hast but laid thy head
First with the dreamless dead,
I, too, shall come, and share thy rest anon.

Methinks ’twas sweet to die,
Ere childhood’s purity
Had been polluted by sin’s withering breath;
Ere Care’s pale, haggard mien
Thy laughing eye had seen,
Or thou hadst wept beside the bed of death!

We weep–yet thou art blest!
We mourn–but thou’rt at rest!
Well may we weep, yet, lost one, not for thee!
Not that thy race is run,
Thy brief life-journey done,
And thou departed with thy Lord to be.

O no!–yet we may weep,
That sin, so strong, so deep
A root within our tempted souls should have;
That we, with mortal fear,
Still trembling, doubting here,
Should cling to Earth in terror of the grave!

To Earth, whose very bloom
Speaks of the dust, the tomb,–
Whose fairest blossoms round our footsteps die,–
Whose hopes are fraught with fears,–
Whose smiles are washed with tears,–
Whose sweetest songs are burdened with a sigh!

Sleep on, thou early blest!
No cares can mar thy rest,
No years of grief and trial are for thee;
No blighted hopes, no fears,
No wasted, sin-cursed years–
Joy for thee, little one, thou’rt free-aye, free!

Now with the peaceful dead
Lay we thy beauteous head,
No mourner’s dirge for thee shall chanted be!
So may we rest at last,
When all our toils are past,
And rise to tune an angel’s harp with thee!

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