( Written during sickness ).
Oh! say must I leave this world of light
With its sparkling streams and sunshine bright,
Its budding flowers, its glorious sky?
Vain ’tis to ask me–I cannot die!
But, sister, list! in the realms above,
That happy home of eternal love,
Are flowers more fair, and skies more clear
Than those thou dost cling to so fondly here.
Ah! yes, but to reach that home of light
I must pass through the fearful vale of night;
And my soul with alarm doth shuddering cry–
O angel, I tell thee, I dare not die!
Ah! mortal beloved, in that path untried
Will I be, as ever, still at thy side,
Through gloom to guide till, death’s shadows passed,
Thou nearest, unharmed, God’s throne at last.
Alas! too many close ties of love
Around my wavering heart are wove!
Fond, tender voices, press me to stay–
Think’st thou from them I would pass away?
Daily my mother, with anguish wild,
Bends o’er the couch of her dying child,
And one, nearer still, with silent tears,
Betrays his anguish, his gloomy fears–
Yes, even now, while to thee I speak,
Are hot drops falling upon my cheek;
Think you I’d break from so close a tie?
No, my guardian angel, I cannot die!
Poor child of earth! how closely clings
Thy heart to earth and to earthly things!
Wilt thou still revolt if I whisper low
That thy Father in Heaven wills it so–
Wills that with Him thou should’st henceforth dwell,
To pray for those whom thou lovest so well,
Till a time shall come when you’ll meet again,
To forget for ever life’s grief and pain?
Spirit, thy words have a potent power
O’er my sinking heart in this awful hour,
And thy soft-breathed hopes, with magic might.
Have chased from my soul the shades of night.
Console the dear ones I part from now,
Who hang o’er my couch with pallid brow,
Tell them we’ll meet in yon shining sky–
And, Saviour tender, now let me die!