—Memorials of George Heath, The Moorland Poet - 1870 Edition—
Two sisters, beautiful as twin sunbeams,
Disported mid my childhood’s realm of flowers,
The blythe associates of my earliest dreams,
The winsome sharers of my sunset hours.
They sleep serenely ’neath the churchyard stone,
And I am left alone, all, all alone!
THE MOTHER ON THE DEATH OF HER
Like the meteor’s transient gleam,
Like the stars at dawn of day,
Like the music of a dream,
Came our boy and passed away.
Gone to swell the snow-white throng,
On the bright far-distant shore,
Where we’ll meet again ere long,
Angel-one, to part no more.
A little while ago these meads were fair
And fresh, and flashing with a flood of green,
And infant flowers with windle spray between;
And gold-winged butterflies and bees were there,
And lisping winds went o’er them like a prayer,
And all was gay as though the dearth had been;
No shadow from the future marred the scene.
And now those very fields are crisp and bare,
Their glory severed, scorched, and withered dead,
And gathered in the dust from whence it came
In tomb-like heaps, ’neath dusky thatch and shed;
And all the world around lives on the same;
The sun shines brightly and the winds are rife;
But they are faded, shorn. And such is life.
When twilight walks the earth with dewy feet,
It steals from memory, haunted long-ago,
That sweet, sad passion-dream I cherished so;
A form with every charm and grace replete,
A tinkling fall of fairy footsteps fleet,
A radiant face, with dimpling smiles aglow,
A voice like rippling streamlet’s murmuring flow,
Low words of hope, and love intensely sweet,
A whispered interchange of vows, one kiss,
A crashing blow, of all our hopes the knell.
One brief half-hour of anguish-haunted bliss,
One wild embrace, a long, a last farewell,
Darts like a vision through my brain, and then
My widowed soul grows calm and sad again.
The glory of God appears to human eye,—
Upon yon gold-shot bound of visual quest;
Yon torrid sunset saddening in the west;
The glinting cliffs that commune with the sky;
The glowing clouds that, voiceless, ramble by
Upon yon tesselated hillock’s crest:
Amid the stillness, motion, and the rest.
Upon the shades that in the valleys lie;
The trees that whisper not but doze in peace;
The defluous fascination of the stream:
Where, on the lake, the sunlight’s fond surcease
Plays, like the last faint promptings of a dream.
Thy glory, God, is round me, on my heart!—
Why do we sometimes wonder where Thou art?
O! glorious day of rest; sublime release
From rankling care and all-absorbing toil;
The grinding wheels of commerce pause awhile,
And tumult, strife, and jarring factions cease,
And o’er the tired earth the angel Peace
Spreads her soft wings, and ’neath thy hallowed smile,
Anoints its festering wounds with holy oil;
And hearts grow bright again, and hopes increase,
And from ten thousand thousand tongues and choirs
The myriad songs of praise commingling, rise
Above the smoke-black tiles, the domes and spires;
Above the vapours and the calm blue skies,
To Him, whose word ordained the thrice-bless’d day
When Justice sleeps, and Mercy holds the sway.
(Next Page - December)