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TO THE MEMORY OF A YOUNG
BY THE REV. J. T. BARR.
"Optima quæque dies miseris mortalibus ævi
"DEAR friend of my youth! is it thus I behold thee,
So faint with affliction, so pale with dis
And shall I no longer with rapture enfold thee
No longer partake of thy tender embrace?
"But lately I saw thee, most sweetly admiring
The gay rose of health on thy cheek spread delight;
To gaze on thy charms was divinely in
[thy sight. 'Twas bliss to be near thee, and dwell in
But now on the bed of affliction reclining, (Nor beauty, nor youth can repel the keen pain)
With grief do I watch thee, fair maiden, declining, [again. And sigh for those seasons of pleasure
"Yet still on the arm of Jehovah reposing, Thy peace is unbroken, and tranquil thy breast:
And tho' the dim visions of life are fast [thy rest!
How sweet are thy slumbers, how gentle
"But when in the grave my ELIZABETH slumbers,
Ah! lonely and cheerless MARIA will be;
O heaven! how mournful will then be her
How joyless her spirit that sighs but for thee!"
Thus wert MARIA, mournful was her theme,
As trembling o'er her dying friend she
And gazing fondly on her wasting frame, The doleful notes still lingered on her tongue.
Long wept the maid, while sorrow's melting tear
Burst from her heart, and glisten'd in
At length, with quivering lips, and tone sincere,
The dying fair one sensibly replies:
"Friend of my bosom ! dost thou weep
Ah! dry those tears, those griefs restrain,
And, O! forbear your peace to mar,
“I feel my fate—tired nature mourns,
I faint-but 'tis this sickly frame
I falter-but my Father's voice
66 Then, O MARIA, best of friends, Accept my dying love;
Be faithful to your glorious Head,
Till then, farewell! Death's icy hand
But see, angelic spirits wait
To bear me 'cross the flood."
She ceas’d—and trembling on the verge of death,
Frail nature, drooping, show'd its feeble
No sighs, no plaints, disturbed her latest breath,
Or marr'd the comforts of her dying hour.
The placid smile, the hope of future bliss, Alike defied the tyrant Death's control: "Till, call'd at length from earth's "distracted globe,"
She died in all the rapture of her soul.