Memories of a Brother.

With hair of a deep, deep brown,1
And a pale brow bent,2
Not into a frown,3
But lines of a soul with conflict rent,4
And a dark, dark lustrous eye,5
As bright as a star in a midnight sky,6
Roving distrust7
With gloomy doubt and wild unrest ;8
And a look of woe,9
As of hidden grief that none might know,10
And a lip compressed to shut it in,11
And a sigh dilating the nostril thin.12
Still not always so :13
With a face that would catch a sudden glow,14
And a brow as fair,15
As if darker shade never gathered there,16
And a sparkling glance17
That seemed, in its merry wit, to dance,18
And a happy voice,19
That sounded to make the heart rejoice ;20
Yet the graver look, and the deeper tone,21
Seeming all the while just as much his own.22
Oh, how23
I remember him now !24
But a still repose25
Stealing over his spirit at life’s sweet close,26
Making his gladness more serene,27
And tranquillizing his sudden mien.28
An upturned eye,29
And the heaving breath,30
Big with the sense of peace, peace,31
Ascending from where he used to lie,32
Till the hour of death,33
When it began to cease, cease ;34
And then a look of such calm sleep,35
That our tears ebbed back to their springs deep ;36
And, oh,37
We could almost smile to let him go,38
He seemed so glad39
To leave this troubled world of ours,40
With its rank weeds and lovely flowers,41
Its sunshines and its rainy skies,42
Its laughing lips and streaming eyes!43
We scarcely felt the morning sad44
That lighted him with its first ray,45
To lands of longer, better day ;46
And bore him up through its azure dome,47
Like an exiled child, to “ home, sweet home !”48
It matters not that he broke a chain49
Which our coming Lord will join again :50
A perfect circle once it lay,51
But sundered now, and a fragment gone,52
One end is lifted to God’s high throne ;53
And if the rest on earth must stay,54
’Twill be complete, as it was before,55
When he drops down with Christ once more ;56
But if they tarry, oh, sweet to think,57
We shall be drawn up link by link !58