BETA

MY MOTHER’S GRAVE.

SUPPOSED TO BE SUGGESTED TO A REPENTANT PRODIGAL BY
THE FRONTISPIECE TO “ THE FORGET ME NOT” FOR 1827.

“ But the grave of those we loved—what a place for meditation!”
Sketch Book.
My mother’s grave ! my mother’s grave ! what bitter
thought it brings !
1
And yet unto that bitter thought how fond affection
clings !
2
Though since I saw thy resting-place long years have
pass’d away,
3
It seemeth to my aching heart a scene of yesterday.4
I stood beside the hillock green—the sun was sinking
fast,
5
And from the rudely sculptured stone a lengthen’d
shade was cast,
6
And, oh ! to my prophetic eye that shadow seem’d to
spread
7
Along the rugged path in life my feet were doom’d to
tread
.
8
Oh, I have wept for follies done, and deeds of darker
dye,
9
To be committed o’er again ere yet those tears were
dry :
10
I’ve wept o’er many a hope deferr’d ; and then, the boon
obtain’d,
11
Have mourn’d more bitterly the cost at which the prize
was gain’d.
12
I’ve mourn’d the faithless and the frail, who
but to betray,
13
But more the blind fatuity that made my heart their
prey :
14
Yet ne’er for aught I’ve lost or done, though sad the
thought may be,
15
My spirit weeps so bitterly as when I think of thee.16
And well itself to deepest grief my spirit may resign,17
And sorrow for my destiny, but surely not for thine ;18
It were a happier fate for thee that death thine eyes
should close,
19
Than thou hadst lived to look upon my folly and my
woes.
20
Thou knewst me but in childhood’s day, when, if too
wild and free,
21
Thy voice could check my wayward steps, and charm
me back to thee :
22
Thy heart had broken with that charm, for, oh ! what
earthly power
23
Could stay my mad and headlong course in manhood’s
fiercer hour !
24
I have been Passion’s passive tool—a sear’d leaf on her
tide,
25
And borne upon its rapid course, from peace and virtue
wide : —
26
Now whirling on some eddy’s verge, now toss’d upon
the wave,
27
An idle, varying, restless thing, of every gust the slave.28
I would not thou hadst lived to see my madness and
my shame,
29
To sorrow o’er my ruin’d hopes and early blighted
fame ;
30
To see thy first-born thus resign’d to guilt’s remorseful
stings,
31
Of whom thy pure and trusting heart had augur’d
holier things.
32
Oh, hear me ! Thou, whose words of might the raging
waves controul,
33
And save me from that vortex dread, the Maelstrom of
the soul !
34
A fearful doom ! yet such, alas ! each child of Passion
finds,
35
Who, launching on life’s ocean, spreads his feelings to
the winds.
36