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64 Works of Charles Mackay

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Ye who have scorned each other In this fast fading year, Or wronged a friend or brother, Come gather humbly here: Let sinned against and sinning Forget their strife’s beginning, Be links no longer broken Beneath the holly bough, Be sweet forgiveness spoken Beneath the holly bough. Ye who have loved each other In this […]

If I Were A Voice

Story type: Poetry

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I. If I were a voice, a persuasive voice,That could travel the wide world through,I would fly on the beams of the morning light,And speak to men with a gentle might,And tell them to be true.I’d fly, I’d fly, o’er land and sea,Wherever a human heart might be,Telling a tale, or singing a song,In praise […]

1847. BEAUTIFUL Paris! morning star of nations!The Lucifer of cities, lifting highThe beacon blaze of young democracy!Medina and Gomorrha both in one–Medina of a high and holy creedTo be developed in a coming time!Gomorrha, rampant with all vice and guilt–Luxurious, godless, grovelling, soaring Paris,Laden with intellect, and yet not wise–Metropolis of satire and lampoon,Of wit, […]

I’m poor and quite unknown,I have neither fame nor rank;My labour is all I own,I have no gold at the bank;I’m one of the common crowd,Despised of the passers-by,Contemn’d of the rich and proud–Said I to myself, said I. I want, and I cannot obtain,The luxuries of the earth;My raiment is scant and plain,And I […]

The Mowers

Story type: Poetry

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AN ANTICIPATION OF THE CHOLERA, 1848. Dense on the stream the vapours lay,Thick as wool on the cold highway;Spongy and dim, each lonely lampShone o’er the streets so dull and damp;The moonbeam could not pierce the cloudThat swathed the city like a shroud.There stood three Shapes on the bridge alone,Three figures by the coping-stone;Gaunt, and […]

The Lump Of Gold

Story type: Poetry

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Part the First I. “WHERE shall I hide myself?–Lost and undone!–A beggar–an outcast–Insulting the Sun!Oh! Yesterday vanished!How lovely wert thou;–The hope in my spirit,The pride on my brow,The firm self-relianceMy guardian and friend,The courage unyieldingThat Fate could not bend;Were mine to support me;–Oh! Yesterday fair!Come back, oh come back to me,Free from despair!To-day is relentless,My […]

Eternal Justice

Story type: Poetry

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The man is thought a knave, or fool.Or bigot, plotting crime,Who, for the advancement of his kind.Is wiser than his time.For him the hemlock shall distil;For him the axe be bared;For him the gibbet shall be built;For him the stake prepared.Him shall the scorn and wrath of menPursue with deadly aim;And malice, envy, spite, and […]

When Morning sheds her ruddy lightO’er heath and dusky dell,Away we go to the mountain’s height,To chase the swift gazelle;To chase afar the savage wolf,Or light and bounding roe,O’er slippery steep, o’er ravine deep,With merry hearts we go.While Echo still,From some far hill,Repeats our glad hallo! Hallo! Where heart-inspiring danger dwells,With fearless feet we roam,And […]

COOL breeze of summer’s eve,‘Mid leafy branches playing,Oh hasten to her bower,And chide my love for staying:Tell her, with anxious hopeMy faithful heart is beating,That long, long time hath pastThe still sweet hour of meeting. Ray of the patient moon,That floatest on the billow,Shine through her lattice high,And beam upon her pillow:Tell her that truth […]

The Pilgrims Dog

Story type: Poetry

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A TALE OF THE OLDEN TIME. There came a pilgrim to the gate,An aged man was he,And he sat him down upon a stone,And sighed most bitterly:The night was cold,–the fierce winds howledWith loud and blustering din,So, to restore his drooping strength,We asked the good man in. “Now sit thee down, thou aged man,“Here’s ale […]

Why, O wind of summer.Why that restless moan?Weepest thou for pleasuresThat are past and gone?Mournest thou for visionsThat have fled away,Or hopes which only flourishedTo wither and decay? Hath thy loved-one left theeTo misfortune’s smart,With a wounded spiritAnd a broken heart?Grievest thou like Ellen,O, thou moaning wind,For the scorn and pityOf a world unkind? Let […]

“Rosen auf den Weg gestreut “Und des Harm vergessen.” Strew roses on the way,And think no more of grief,Short is the passing day,Short-lived the summer leaf;Short is our mortal span–Then, ere the minutes die,‘Tis Wisdom’s wisest planTo gild them as they fly:The present only is our own,The future dark, and all unknown. Then, O give […]

The Wood-Nymph

Story type: Poetry

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“Muse des bois et des accords champetres.” Far from bustle, strife, and care,‘Mong the woods I’ve wooed her.And to her secluded nook,By the margin of a brook,And by waters bright and blue,Over meadows wet with dew,Many a time pursued her:And far away in forests lone,Listening to the rugged toneOf the windy weather,She and I, at […]

Storm

Story type: Poetry

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A MIGHTY tempest rent the sky,As if a god were passing by.Bending to earth my humbled head,In solemn and religious dread,And kneeling on the sod,I heard a voice proclaim aloud,Whose echoes sprung from cloud to cloud,“Great is the Lord our God!” And ocean swelled its waters vast,Repeating, as it roared,In chorus with the furious blast,“O! […]

Gipsy Chaunt

Story type: Poetry

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When tke sentinel mastiff keepeth guard,And all is dark in the farmer’s yard,Ere the early cock hath begun to crow,Abroad with the owl and the bat we go:Thirst is mighty–hunger is strong–Our sticks are stout, and our arms are long–Hurra!And woe to the chicken–ah, woe, to the henThat flappeth her wings on our pathway then!Hurra! […]

The Falling Stars

Story type: Poetry

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(AFTER BERANGER.) SHEPHERD, thou say’st there is a starWhich rules our changeful destinies:Can mortal vision soar so far,Or pierce such mighty mysteries?Shepherd, ’tis said thy mind recalsThe lore of grey departed seers:say, what is yonder star which falls,Which falls, falls, and disappears? My son, a child of joy expired,Yon was his star which glided by,The […]

“LORENZO pines in dungeon gloom,“In chains my gallant lover lies,“A tyrant has pronounced his doom,“To-morrow he is free–or dies!“O Love! if thou hast power below,“Or favour where the angels dwell,“Protect thy maiden votary now–“Jesu Maria! shield me well!” The maiden doffs her robe of white,And clothes her in the priestly stole,Binds back her locks of […]

1832. When your rights are destroyed, and when freedom expires,When your kings and your princes to crush ye combine,O! shall it be said that no vengeance inspiresThe land of the Oder, the Elbe, and the Rhine!O! shall it be said that the Germans lay still,While their puny oppressors were working their will? Forbid it, O […]

Earth heard the loud, the solemn sound,And started from her utmost bound,And Darkness, on his ebon car,Spread his black wings, and fled afar;The dun clouds opened with affright,And hailed the burst of life and light! “‘Tis light! ’tis light!” the mountains rung,“‘Tis light! ’tis light!” the valleys sung!The stars beheld its dawning bright,The spheres confessed […]

Hymn For The Dead

Story type: Poetry

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O! why should we bewail the dead,Why sorrow o’er their narrow bed?Have they not sought the happy shore,Where human cares oppress no more?Bewail them not!–more blest than we,From mortal woes and anguish free,Their parted spirits rest in peace,In the still land, where troubles cease! Bewail them not! their bright abodeIs with a Father and a […]

The Dove Of Noah

Story type: Poetry

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Hope on her wings, and God her guide.The dove of Noah soared,Far through the dim unfathomed space,Where shoreless ocean roared.But ah! she found no valley green,No resting-place,–no track,Until the peaceful ark receivedThe weary wanderer back. So we, on Life’s tempestuous sea,Beset by grief and pain,May seek a solace here below,But ah! the search is vain.A […]

The loud blast leaps from wave to wave,Around our heads the thunders rave,And dark, dark is the midnight sky,Save when the lightning flashes high. O! God whom we revere!Thy voice can still the raging deep,Thy mercy lull the winds to sleep–Then, Father, hear!In Thee we trust–to Thee we fly–Guide and protect us, or we die! […]

Saul And David

Story type: Poetry

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A VOICE of wailing and of woeFills the proud monarch’s regal hall,There’s madness on the kingly brow,There’s frenzy in the soul of Saul.Where is the bard whose gifted lyreCan solace to the mind impart?Whose lips can utter words of fire,And drive the demon from the heart?He comes! the shepherd minstrel comes,His hallowed fingers sweep the […]

The eagle hath stooped from his eyrie on high,Weep, daughter of Salem, the spoiler is nigh;Weep, weep and lament, for he comes in his wrath,And the vengeance of God is the guide of his path;I see his fierce horsemen prepare for the war,And I hear their loud shouts as they rush from afar. Mourn, mourn […]

Cleon And I

Story type: Poetry

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Cleon hath a million acres,Ne’er a one have I;Cleon dwelleth in a palace,In a cottage I;Cleon hath a dozen fortunes,Not a penny I:yet the poorer of the twain isCleon, and not I. Cleon, true, possesseth acres,But the landscape I;Half the charms to me it yieldethMoney cannot buy;Cleon harbours sloth and dulness,Freshening vigour I;He in velvet, […]

“Didst ever see a hanging?”–“No, not one,Nor ever wish to see such scandal done.But once I saw a wretch condemn’d to die:A lean-faced, bright-eyed youth, who made me sighAt the recital of a dream he had.He was not sane, and yet he was not mad:Fit subject for a mesmerist he seem’d;for when he slept, he […]

Let Us Alone

Story type: Poetry

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Many–and yet our fate is one,And little after all we crave–Enjoyment of the common sun,Fair passage to the common grave;Our bread and fire, our plain attire,The free possession of our own.Rulers be wise! and kings and czars,Let us alone–let us alone. We have a faith, we have a law;A faith in God, a hope in […]

The Little Moles

Story type: Poetry

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WHEN grasping tyranny offends,Or angry bigots frown;When rulers plot, for sefish ends,To keep the nations down;When statesmen form unholy leagueTo drive the world to war;When knaves in palaces intrigueFor ribbons or a star–We raise our heads, survey their deeds,And cheerily reply,Grub, little moles, grub under ground,There’s sunshine in the sky. When canting hypocrites combineTo curb […]

Reveries–Night

Story type: Poetry

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“O Night and Silence ye are wondrous strong.” –Byron. Tis sweet to roam aloneIn some sequestered wood,When slumbering Echo hears no soundWhen Night and Silence spread aroundA holy solitude;When through the vales,Capricious galesSweep fitfully along in melancholy mood. O! in that solemn hour,When starry Night has flungHer balmy mantle o’er the dale,And when the love-lorn […]

Soldier of Poland! wherefore sigh?Freedom, though crushed, shall never die;Though for awhile her noble headBe trampled by the Cossack’s tread.Though the proud Russian lay her low,And laugh to scorn a nation’s woe;Though those whom free-born hearts deplore,Be banished from their native shore,And forced in foreign climes to roam,To seek a shelter and a home;Though thousand […]

‘Tis sweet, in the shade of the lofty trees,In the dewy morning time,To hear the song of the joyous lark,Or the distant village chime;Or to sit and think,By a streamlet’s brink,Breathing our thoughts in rhyme. Tis sweet, in the shade of the lofty trees,In the sultry hour of noon,To lie at length on the cooling […]

Hurrah! for the land of the thistle!The clime of the fair and free!Where the lassies are bonnieAnd loving as ony,The pride of the North Countrie!Where Liberty dwells on the mountain,Where Beauty inhabits the plain,The land that never yet bent to the yokeOf the Roman, the Goth, or the Dane. Hurrah! for the land of the […]

To Romance

Story type: Poetry

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Sweet deceiver! who so oftHast lulled my soul with visions soft;When the heart is new and young,Thou dost come with honeyed tongue,Whispering to confiding youthTales of Friendship, Love, and Truth:In thy mirror life is seenBright and pure and evergreen!–Alas! and must thy visions fade?Thy brightness darken into shade?–The clear, but cold realityBreathes upon thy reverie, […]

Light is love without esteem.Lighter than a feather,But ours has borneContempt and scorn,And sorrow’s wintry weather!Then, never more, never mare Shall we sever; I am thine–thou art mine, For ever and for ever. Never shall affliction’s scowlOr its touch divide us;Let fortune frown.Or men look down,And evil days betide us :Never more, never more Shall […]

Star! that sendest the birdTo her dew-besprinkled nest,That sendest the hind to his cottage fire,And givest the weary rest!Star! O gentle star!Beacon of dreams and sleep!I lie me downOn the cold heath brown,To gaze on thy light and weep! I weep, O quiet star,With a grief that shall not depart,For thou wakest the thoughts of […]

We come! We come!To soften the strokes of fate.And lead the wanderer back in dreamsTo his woodland cot, and his native streams,And his long-expecting mate. We come! We come!To the pillow of him oppressed,And send him a slumber deep and calm,And pour in visions a healing balmTo his wounded and aching breast We come! We […]

He carved his name upon the tree,Ere he hied him o’er the billow,A token of love and memoryOn that lone drooping willow;And bade me come at twilight dim,In summer’s fragrant weather,Beneath its shade to think of him,And the joys we’d known together. Ah! little did we think, when lastWe met in sad emotion,That he’d find […]

She said she’d come at evening’s fall,By yon streamlet gently rolling,When darkness dim was spread o’er all.And the vesper bell was tolling;But long that bell hath ceased its tone,And the moon has risen above me,And I have waited long and loneFor the lass who vowed to love me! The time is long, the hours are […]

Peerless orb of life and light,Here beneath the cloudless blue,Lo! we quaff the liquor bright,And pray for rain and pleasant dew.Here beneath thy ruddy beam,To thee we drain the goblet deep,Where the Rhine’s broad waters stream,And the grapes in clusters creep. Sun, O sun, thy splendours pourO’er the fruitful fields of earth,And to her remotest […]

To The Winds

Story type: Poetry

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“I called on the rushing blast.” –Ossiak. Wind of the winter night, whence comest thou?And whither, oh whither, art wandering now?Sad, sad is thy voice on this desolate moor,And mournful, oh mournful, thy howl at my door.Say where hast thou been on thy cloud-lifted car,Say what hast thou seen in thy roamings afar!What sorrow impels […]

Reveries

Story type: Poetry

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Come, gentle phantasie,Come to my lone retreat,Beside the rolling sea,Where the playful billows beat;Come at still twilight’s time,When the star of evening beams above,And looks on earth with a look of love,From her far cerulean clime;And on the shoreThe waters’ roarShall to our ears rough music make,And sweet shall beTheir melody,As the wind doth o’er […]

O! Father, hear!Thou know’st my secret thought,Thou know’st with love and fearI bend before Thy mighty throne,And before Thee I hold myself as nought.Alas! I’m in the world alone,All desolate upon the earth,And when my spirit hears the tone,The soft song of the birds in mirth,When the young nightingalesTheir tender voices blend,When from the flowery […]

The Sycamore Tree

Story type: Poetry

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O! for the shade of the sycamore,That spreadeth its boughs at my cottage door!O! for the kiss of my bonnie bride,And the welcome glow of her warm fireside;And O! for the smile of my bonnie boy,And the pleasant sounds of its childish joy!Here, rolling about on the pelting foam,How my heart yearns for its quiet […]

The Wishing Gate

Story type: Poetry

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“In the Vale of Grasmere, in Westmoreland, there is, or was lately, a gate, known under the cognomen of ‘The Wishing Gate,’ to which popular superstition attached the belief that all reasonable wishes there formed, would be attended with favourable results.’ BALLAD. ‘Tis dreamy midnight’s solemn hour,The busy village sleeps,And the pale moonbeam’s silver sheenIts […]

The Isle Of Truth

Story type: Poetry

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“While the beams of the daylight yet shine from the “west,“Sail onwards, my bark, to the isle of the blest,“Where Love blooms for ever in fondness and truth,“And Passion forgets not the vows of its youth;“Where Friendship forsakes not, tho’ sorrows subdue,“And the visions of Hope are as lovely as true.“Sail onwards, my bark, to […]

Let others chase the timid deerO’er field or level moor,We’ve a braver sport, and a nobler here,To chase the mighty boar.Through forest dark, and tangled wood,Where mountain torrents flow,With hearts by danger ne’er subdued,O! merrily we go!–Hark! Hark!How he roars, as he springs from his lair so dark!Hark! Hark!He bounds! he bounds! in his fury […]

Wooing

Story type: Poetry

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Tis sad to go a-rovingThrough the weary world alone,For the bliss of life is loving,Ere the days of youth are flownAnd old age is Love’s undoing,Passion fades away with time,So we’ll go again a-wooing,While our hearts are in their prime.So we’ll go again a-wooing, etc. etc. The frowns of Fortune grieve us,And Ambition is a […]

The Alder Tree

Story type: Poetry

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Alder tree, O alder tree,Over his grave reclining;I’ve braided a wreath of the fairest flowersThat ever were fed by the spring-time showers.Or nursed by the summer shining.Short, but lovely, their lives have been,Like his in the damp sod sleeping,And I strew them now on the hillock green,Where a mournful watch I’m keeping. Alder tree! O […]

At sunset a maid was roamingAlone by the banks of Rhine,Whose stream to the dark sea foaming,Was bright in the red sunshine:And she wept in bitter sorrow,As faded the sun’s last ray,And sadly she thought of the morrow,For her love was far away! They’ve bartered the maid and sold herFor empty and pitiless pride,And morning’s […]

The Maiden Pale

Story type: Poetry

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The earth is white with the falling snow,And white is the forest tree,And my mocassin leaves no tell-tale print,As I come to visit thee.O! swift is my foot on the war-path, love,And fleet on the red deer’s trail,But swifter far when at eve I comeTo visit my maiden pale. When the sun shines from a […]

The Hunters

Story type: Poetry

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In valleys where the white man’s footNe’er treads the early dew,By mighty streams, whose waters deepNe’er bear his light canoe;In wild woods, where the settler’s axeNe’er fells the ancient tree,There the Great Spirit wings our feetTo roam the forest free. When points the shadow to the west,We string the ready bow;Hark!–the wild stag is in […]

Far away from the white man’s smoke,In the woods and in silence deep,Under the shade of the beech and oak,The bones of the heroes sleep.And there we go when the sky is grey,We go, and we shed no tears,But bend our heads to the earth, and prayFor the men of many years. Lightly we tread […]

War Song

Story type: Poetry

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I saw a stain on the last year’s snow,Brothers! a stain of blood!But the cold hath past, and the warm winds blow,And the trees are in the bud.The snow hath melted from dale and hill–But the blood–the blood remaineth still! I heard a voice on the winter blast,Brothers! a voice of woe!And it cried for […]

The Northern Star

Story type: Poetry

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The rushing winds around us sweep,The storms about us roar,And we–we skim the foaming deep,A thousand miles from shore.Fierce o’er the wave the tempests ride,And far from land are we,Star of the North! with none to guide,But Providence and thee! When o’er our deck the billows dash,And howls the rushing blast,When from afar the thunder-flashHas […]

To An Eagle

Story type: Poetry

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O! for an eagle’s wings,To brave the rugged blast,In spite of wind and storm to soarO’er mount and meadow vast.O! that I might, like thee,O’er Alpine summits fly,And travel, unconfined and free,The nearest to the sky! O! that mine eye like thineUpon the sun might gaze,And revel in that living light,Undazzled by the blaze!O! that […]

O! sadly, ye dark rolling waves of the ocean,O! sadly ye beat on this desolate shore,And wake, with the voice of your restless commotion,Sad thoughts of the home 1 must visit no more.From the far distant land which has spurned me for ever,The land for whose glory I’ve struggled in vain,Ye come, O ye waves, […]

The Beech Tree

Story type: Poetry

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When my soul flies to the first great Giver,Friends of the bard! let my dwelling heBy the green bank of that rippling river,Under the shade of yon tall beech tree.Bury me there, ye lovers of song,When the prayers for the dead are spoken,With my hands on my breast,My face to the west,And my lyre in […]

Far away! O far away,Over the wide sea’s bounding spray,Many a league o’er the pelting foam.We seek a country, we seek a home!Farewell, England! our native land,Lingering still on thy verdant strand,We look our last on thy once-loved shore,And vow in our hearts to return no more. Far away! O far away!Nothing invites us here […]

Where the snake lurks in the tangled grass,By the slippery brink of the dank morass,Merrily O! Merrily O!I light my lamp, and forth I go!And to lure astray the lated wight,I shine all night in the swampy hollows,Merrily O! Merrily O!Wailing and woe to the fool who follows! O! Love and Friendship and I make […]

Come, maidens come, to our merry dance,Youth and Beauty come together;Let young hearts meetIn converse sweet,At twilight’s time, in the summer weather:By the pale light of the thoughtful moon,When all is hushed, save the sighing breeze;In a still and balmy night of June,Under the leaves of the linden trees. There song shall awake its softest […]

The Days Of Yore

Story type: Poetry

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Deep in the shade of the wild woods free,There standeth alone an old oak tree;And ever at night, ‘mong its branches dead,The cold wind mourneth its glories fled,And the nightingale singeth her saddest tune,To think that its strength should have died so soon;And the old oak droopeth its branches hoar,And maketh a moan for the […]

“Where is the place of their first fond meeting,“Where, oh where, is that green bay tree,“Under whose cover“The maid and her lover“Plighted their troth and their constancy?”O the winter nights were bleak and dreary,The storms of summer were fierce and free;Its trunk is shattered,Its branches are scattered,O! withered and dead is that green bay tree! […]

In the deep silence of the night,We come, O harvest moon,To dance beneath thy gentle light,To many a merry tune;We come, whilst thou in thoughtful sheenArt beaming from the blue,In wild wood lone, and meadow green,To tread the mellow dew!And pledge at midnight’s solemn noonA health to thee, O harvest moon! Whilst thou alone dost […]

Wail! Wail!For a sub hath set.Which no returning morrowShall ever callFrom the darksome pall,To beam upon our sorrow!Moan! Moan!O’er his dwelling lone,As ye heap the clod above him:Dead! Dead!His soul hath fledFrom the hearts that lived to love him! Wail! Wail!Though our tears be vain,For the soul in glory shining!Yet how can thoseWho have seen […]