Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

Birkhill: A Memory

O'er thy lone beauty, sweet Birkhill,
Sad, brooding memory hovers still;
Within, without, the sylvan cot,
Ah! long unseen, but ne'er forgot.
The fair-haired father, gentle wife,
True helpmate of his toiling life;
The joyous group of youthful faces
Gone, vanished-lo! their vacant places.
Meek Margaret, with the soft brown eyes,
And Jane, the thoughtful, kind, and wise;
Bright Isa, of the golden hair,
And baby Annie, pale and fair.
And Willie, generous, bold, and free,
The master mind of brothers three;
He, while in manhood's glowing prime,
Drooped, languished, died in Indian clime.
And two, when life's young leaves were green,
And hope's fair blossoms blushed between,
Fell, in the mildew of decay,
Like withered flowers upon the clay.
When summer dressed lone Birkhill's bowers,
And gemmed her garden plots with flowers,
And draped her cottage wall with roses,
Within, on couch of death, reposes
A white-robed form in marble beauty-
Without to pay the last sad duty.
For years we saw the mourners come:
One only waits till summoned home.
And she and I are near the bourne,
From whence no traveller may return;
Soon shall the link that binds us sever,
But faith and hope say, 'Not for ever.'
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