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TO THE MEMORY OF A YOUNG

LADY.

BY THE REV. J. T. BARR.

"Optima quæque dies miseris mortalibus ævi

Prima fugit."

VIRG.

"DEAR friend of my youth! is it thus I behold thee,

So faint with affliction, so pale with dis

ease;

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

66

spiring,

[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!

closing,

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

numbers,

How joyless her spirit that sighs but for thee!"

Thus wert MARIA, mournful was her theme,

As trembling o'er her dying friend she

hung;

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

her eyes;

At length, with quivering lips, and tone sincere,

The dying fair one sensibly replies:

"Friend of my bosom ! dost thou weep
To see these cheeks so pale?
And dost thou mourn because I go
Where tears nor sighs prevail ?

Ah! dry those tears, those griefs restrain,
I rise to purer breath;

And, O! forbear your peace to mar,
When I repose in death.

“I feel my fate—tired nature mourns,
(So frail her boasted power)
Yet sooth'd by Heaven's peculiar care,
I wait my destin'd hour:

I faint-but 'tis this sickly frame
That sighs itself to rest;

I falter-but my Father's voice
Reanimates my breast.

66 Then, O MARIA, best of friends, Accept my dying love;

Be faithful to your glorious Head,
And we shall meet above.

Till then, farewell! Death's icy hand
Already chills my blood;

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

power;

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.

L

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