Love in Death.

[A women perished in a snow-storm while passing over the Green Mountain in Vermont ; she had an
infant with her, who was found alive and well in the morning, carefully wrapped in the mother’s
On the death-darkened air,1
Through the wild storm, amid the drifting snows,2
A voice of murmured soothing blent with prayer,3
Solemn in trustful tenderness, arose.4
A mother’s spirit in its parting clung5
Unto her child—a mother’s soul was stirred6
Through all its depths—a mother’s fondness hung,7
And trembled on each faint and faltering word8
Of blessing and farewell ; and, as the bird9
Plucks the soft plumage from its downy breast10
To shield its young, and cowers with quivering wing11
More closely o’er them, to her side she prest12
Her babe, and strove, with warmth and sheltering13
To frame within her clasping arms a nest :14
Sleep ! oh, my baby, sleep ! the night draws on.15
Sleep once again on thy poor mother’s breast ;16
Ere yet the morning dawns I shall be gone,17
And thou no more wilt know such place of rest ;18
Colder and yet more cold,19
Dark with the storm the wild winds round us
Yet still above thy slumber, as of old,21
Thy mother watches. Sleep, thou dear one, sleep !22
Closer and closer still23
Nestle unto me, darling, safe from harm ;24
Cold, cold, is all without, and deathly chill,25
Only the heart—thy mother’s heart—is warm.26
Yet there it will be cold,—27
Yes, even there, my child ! and, oh, how soon.28
The snow drifts thickly round us—fold by fold29
Around the sinking form, the weary feet30
That may no longer bear us o’er the wild,31
Silent and swift, a wreathèd winding-sheet32
Is closely drawn : but not for thee, my child !33
No, not for thee ! my parting soul hath striven34
With Him, the merciful—unto this hour,35
Unto its love, its anguish, hath been given36
A spirit of prevailing and of power ;—37
And I have borne it from thee !  To his breast38
Death folds me close as I fold thee to mine ;39
Cold kisses are upon my cheek—to rest,40
To sleep they woo me, soft and deep as thine :41
A heavy mist steals on—I feel my breath42
Drawn slowly from me ; yet my love shall keep43
Its watch above thee still, and thou shalt sleep,44
Sleep safely, sweetly, in the arms of Death,45
And wake to life once more !  Kind eyes shall weep,46
And kindly hearts be troubled, when they see47
The sweet unconscious smiling of thy face ;48
For thou wilt smile, and bear no thought of me.49
Too young art thou for grief,50
Too young for Love, my child, for Memory !51
Yet not less fond the last, the lingering kiss,52
Yet not less fervent from the heart the prayer ;53
Because I know thou wilt not, darling, miss54
Thy mother in her fondness, in her care !55
But he will think of me56
Thy Father. Thou wilt grow up by his side,57
And ever bring the thought of her that died58
Lonely, but loving, blessing him and thee.59
The flower, the flower may fall60
When it hath shielded in its folded breast61
The bud of promise, loveliest,62
Most dear of all.63
And he will not be lone64
In sorrow or in joy. Thy voice shall fill65
The silence of his soul with many a tone66
That once was mine, and whisper to him still67
Of things long past, and I shall look at him68
Through thy sweet eyes—young, loving eyes, that
In light and tenderness when these are dim,70
Shall answer his with smiles that once were mine.71
Sleep, dearest ! in the night72
Of death thy mother’s arms around thee twine73
More closely, that her spirit in its flight,74
May send a message of its love on thine.75
The snows will melt away.76
And green leaves rustle light o’er hill and plain ;77
Through the sweet scent of hidden waters stirred,78
And the clear shining after summer rain,79
The blade will spring ; then on strong wing the
Will rise to the blue heaven, ascending slow ;81
The fisher will go forth upon the lake,82
The hunter to the forest with his bow ;83
But far beyond the flight84
Of Indian arrow, far beyond the ken85
Of mountain eagle in his soaring might,86
I shall have passed, returning not again :87
These ancient Hills shall wake88
Like giants from their slumber at the breath89
Of Spring, and from their lofty summits shake90
The icy chains of stillness and of death ;91
But not till they shall hear92
A sound, and move in trembling from their place,93
Not till the mountains and the rocks in fear94
A woman walks through snow. She hunches over and wraps a shawl tightly around herself and around an indistinct bundle (a baby) in her arms. 3/4 page illustration contained in a single-ruled rectangular border.
Shall flee, and leave where they have been no trace,95
May I arise. O Saviour ! earth and Heaven96
Shall pass, but Thou endurest. Unto Thee97
I yield my spirit ; Father, bless thou me !98
Bless with Thy love the child that Thou hast
given !”
And in that prayer her fervent spirit pass’d.100
The deep night fell, the keen and hurrying blast101
Sang her wild dirge ; the straining clasp grew cold,102
Yet pressed the little one with rigid hold103
Still to her heart ; when morning came the child104
Woke peaceful in its mother’s arms and smiled.105