Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

On The Death Of A Highly Gifted And Prococious Child

Who died at the age of six years and two months

Too fair, too pale, too pure and wise
For earth, she early sought the skies;
Her fair broad brow and hazel eyes,
Instinct with genius, ever rise
On Memory's mournful eye.
Oh! gifted child of love and song,
Could prayers and tears thy stay prolong,
How had they flowed! The angel throng
Bore on their wings, with joy and song,
Our darling to the sky.
Fair star! at thy terrestrial birth
I hailed thee-watched thy course on earth;
Grave were thy joys, and quiet thy mirth-
The radiant orb, soon lost to earth,
Is shining high in heaven.
Thy earthly home a rural cot
With roses draped, with many a plot
Of flowers-earth holds no lovelier spot-
All, all remains, but thou art not,
For thou wert lent, not given.
The roses of two summers shed
Their fragrant petals on her head,
When on the green and daisied bed,
With wilding flowers and toys bespread,
The child was set to play.
A silver birch lean'd o'er the ground,
And there dear Dora I have found,
A long soft band her waist enwound,
And to the tender sapling bound,
That so she might not stray.
And there, for hours each summer day,
The hermit babe would sing and play
Alone with Nature, pleased and gay,
For strangers seldom came that way,
And playmates she had none.
Oft to her father's knee she went
When he would read, with ear intent
And speaking eye, where thought was blent
With feeling deep, that found a vent
When she was all alone.
Like warbling linnet's song would flow
Her silver tones, soft, sweet, and low;
All beauteous things she seemed to know-
Her sobs would rise, her tears would flow
At piteous song or tale.
How pale, how spiritual and sweet
The smiling face that wont to greet
Me through the pane, then run to meet,
And fill my hand with cowslips sweet,
And lilies of the vale!
Then to her own dear flow'ry nook,
Beneath the birch, our way we took;
Some favourite poem from the book
She held-would read with sparkling look,
And curious, quaint comment.
Six summers had their roses shed
Upon the infant poet's head,
When on her white and death cold bed
A withered rose lay Dora-dead:
Heaven took what it had lent.
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