Not that Disease his cruel hand has raised,1
And clutched away thy beauty and thy strength,2
Threatening to hold them all thy sad days’ length ;—3
It is not this which made the eyes that gazed4
Falter, and fill with trembling tears that dazed5
My inward vision, like my outward view,6
Till hope and courage faded, and I knew7
A bitter dread, which left me dumb, amazed.8
No, it was this : that fell disease should gain9
Over thy virtues and thy steadfast mind10
A hold, which through long years of health to find,11
All sins, and all temptations sought in vain.12
Ay, ’tis this dread which sometimes makes me dumb ;13
Death, tho’ I love him, ere this comes, oh come !14