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He was full of joke and jest,
Every one for his own.
How hard he breathes ! over the snow
I heard just now the crowing cock.
The cricket chirps: the light burns low:
Shake hands, before you die.
His face is growing sharp and thin.
up his chin:
Step from the corpse, and let him in
And waiteth at the door.
There 's a new foot on the floor, my
friend, And a new face at the door, my friend,
A new face at the door.
To J. S.
The wind, that beats the mountain, blows
More softly round the open wold, And gently comes the world to those
That are cast in gentle mould.
And me this knowledge bolder made,
Or else I had not dared to flow
In these words toward you, and invade
Even with a verse your holy woe.
'Tis strange that those we lean on most,
Those in whose laps our limbs are nursed, Fall into shadow, soonest lost:
Those we love first are taken first.
God gives us love. Something to love
He lends us; but, when love is grown To ripeness, that on which it throve
Falls off, and love is left alone.
This is the curse of time.
In grief I am not all unlearn’d;
One went, who never hath return’d.
He will not smile—not speak to me
Two years his chair is seen Empty before us. That was he
Without whose life I had not been.
Your loss is rarer; for this star
Rose with you thro' a little arc Of heaven, nor having wander'd far
Shot on the sudden into dark,
I knew your brother: his mute dust
I honour and his living worth: A man more pure and bold and just
Was never born into the earth.
I have not look'd upon you nigh,
Since that dear soul hath fall'n asleep.
Great Nature is more wise than I:
I will not tell you not to weep.
And though mine own eyes fill with dew,
Drawn from the spirit thro' the brain, I will not even preach to you,
Weep, weeping dulls the inward pain.”
Let Grief be her own mistress still.
She loveth her own anguish deep More than much pleasure. Let her will
Be done—to weep or not to weep.