The Sister’s Farewell.

Dear Sister, sit beside my bed,1
And let me see your gentle smile,2
And let me lay my aching head3
Upon your kindly arm awhile ;4
I shall not long be with you now,5
My time is drawing to an end :6
May we our spirits meekly bow,7
And He release from suffering send.8
The longed-for summer ’s drawing near ;9
The wind is softer, and the sun10
Streams down so brightly on me here,11
It almost seems already come.12
But now—I never more shall see13
The fields and lanes, all gay with flowers,14
Nor hear the murmur of the bee,15
Nor song of birds among the bowers.16
For here, no beauteous change we see17
In nature, as the year rolls on ;18
No green bursts forth on bush and tree19
When winter’s chilling frosts are gone.20
No gentle flowers or odours sweet,21
In summer cheer us as we go ;22
Nought see we but th’ unchanging street,23
And weary passing to and fro.24
The summer, though ’tis summer still,25
Seems not the same while we are here.26
How sweet the thought of. that clear rill,27
That trembled from the hillock near28
To our old house !  I sometimes think,29
With my eyes closed, and half-asleep,30
That I am lying on the brink31
Of the old fish-pond, still, and deep.32
Methinks in one of those sweet nooks,33
Beneath the hanging willow-trees,34
I listen to the cawing rooks35
And busy humming of the bees.36
And, moodily, I watch the trout37
Make circles in the tranquil pool ;38
And watch the swallows skim about,39
And feel the breeze so fresh and cool.40
Let me awake—the dream was brief41
Be thankful for my sufferings here ;42
Be thankful, too, for Heaven’s relief,43
E’en though I leave thee, sister dear.44
Yet let me once more see you smile ;45
A Vision opens on me bright !46
Lay your hand by me for a while47
And now, God bless you, love—Good Night !48