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'TIS the deep sound of Sorrow! ENGLAND'S knell,
That strikes upon the Heart!--her hallowing Tear,
Speaks the strong feeling of her last Farewell:
A Nation's sorrow o'er a Monarch's Bier.
It falls for ENGLAND'S FATHER!--HIM whose form
Tho' shrouded in affliction, seemed to stay,
A guardian Spirit lingering 'midst the storm,
With sweet assurance of a tranquil day.
It was a holy spell, around us cast
In tempests and in darkness! 'twas a beam,
That in the wildness of each wintry blast,
Still broke around us with a cheering gleam.
Tho' dimm'd its parting splendour--tho' the night,
Fell on its brightness with a sacred gloom;
Yet what a radiant burst of heavenly light
Shall pierce the awful precincts of the Tomb,
And point his way to Glory!--Angels' care
Shall gently guide Him with o'ershadowing pow'r,
The Christian only--not the Monarch there,
The long-tried Servant of the suffering hour.
Withdrawn the veil that o'er his darken'd eye
The hand of mercy had in pity thrown:
The "Mortal puts on Immortality!"
The Monarch wears an incorruptive Crown!
With looks of holy greeting round him rise,
Soft kindred Spirits--ONE who walk'd in Love
Still by his side--and SHE whose sympathies
In the full tide of parting sorrows strove.
To soothe a Father's anguish--'midst the pain
Of struggling Nature in that awful strife,
When Reason trembled o'er her sever'd Chain,
Nor felt the keener agonies of Life.
And SHE too comes to lead Him on his way,
England's own Star of gladness--she who shone
In the pure brightness of her morning ray,
The Lost--the lovely--the Lamented One.
She was enshrin'd like Him within the heart,
And with fond grasp, affection held her there
Like some dear thought with which we would not part,
That seems to mingle in each silent Pray'r.
She too (how early!), left us--then as now,
A Kingdom mourn'd with the strong grief of love;
But there was ONE, who on his silver brow
Felt not the cloud nor saw it round US move.
HE could not join our wailing--give His Tear
O'er our young Hopes--the Rosebud and the Flow'r;
Reason had seal'd the Cup of Sorrow here,
Nor to Remembrance gave one conscious hour.
All--all was darkness--even the mental eye
Hung not upon his sorrow, and our own:
Ah! no--the pitying veil was cast from High,
The sacred mantle o'er affliction thrown.
Angels alone its shrouding form might raise;
Angels exulting in their task of love,
Pierce the dark curtain with celestial blaze,
And the soft shade with sainted touch remove.
Oh! 'midst its temper'd brightness turn and see,
With the full strength of Faith's unclouded view,
From earthly care, from earthly suffering free,
The Good --the Great --the Purified like you.
And (latest call'd) a hovering shade survey
In filial fondness lingering as thy guide:
E'en on the confines of his Heavenly way--
A Seraph now--no more a Nation's pride.
He too has chang'd like you a passing Crown,
For the bright circle of Eternity;
And round HIM now celestial hands have thrown,
The heavenly vesture of unfading dye.
Amidst the spirits of the Pure--the Just,
Of Love made perfect in a happier sphere,
Arise with HIM--give back thy sacred Trust,
Thy Crown of Sorrow, and of suffering here.
And as from earth the Soul ascending springs,
Whilst earthly feelings yet may linger there,
Give, as you trembling meet the KING OF KING
In holy suppliance give a Nation's Pray'r;
That hovering still thy guardian form may move,
Around thy ENGLAND, with parental pow'r,
Bend o'er thy weeping Family of Love,
With guiding influence in each dangerous hour.
Give thy high Legacy of sacred Trust,
From HIM who sanctifies the obedient heart,
Prompts the pure Counsels of the Wise and Just,
Or bids his Spirit from the Land depart.
May it be seen in brightness! leading home,
Those who have wander'd--bid them contrite turn,
To catch the Lesson whisper'd from thy Tomb,
And breathe their mingling sorrows o'er thy Urn.
Still may its hallowing beam, as long it shone,
Pour o'er our altars a protecting light,
See gathering Glory round the Sceptre thrown,
And still go forth in MAJESTY AND MIGHT.