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Full Online Book HomePoemsOn The Death Of Herbert Southey: Addressed To His Father (vignette 24)
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On The Death Of Herbert Southey: Addressed To His Father (vignette 24) Post by :viggen Category :Poems Author :Matilda Betham Date :August 2011 Read :3095

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On The Death Of Herbert Southey: Addressed To His Father (vignette 24)

Knowing the nature of thy grief,
Too deep, too recent for relief,
Oh! why impatient must I press
So early on a friend's distress!
Why am I eager thus to prove,
To him who feels excess of love,
The tender liking we bestow
On fair and guileless things below?
On Love and Joy without pretence,
On kind and playful Innocence!
The pleas'd idea Memory kept,
The partial glance which never slept,
When hopes arose oft render'd vain,
Of seeing Keswick yet again.

Never but once a child had won
So much upon me as thy son;
And, for each wild and winning art,
That, nestling, fastens in the heart;
For graces that light tendrils fling
Around each nerve's tenacious string;
Caprices beautiful, that strike
The heart, and captive fancy, like
Those of a tame, young bird at play,
That carols near, then flits away,
Will on a sudden upward soar,
Then give its little wanderings o'er,
For fondling, gentle, sweet repose,
When tapering pinions softly close,
Slight, warmth--pervaded quills are prest,
And head shrunk closely to the breast:
All sleeping but that lovely eye,
Which speaks delight, and asks reply:
Oh! with such graces never one
Was so much gifted as thy son!
In each variety of tone,
Each wayward charm, he stood alone;
And all too nicely pois'd to press,
Or ruffle tranquil happiness.

If thus a stranger thinks, who knew
Him but an infant--if he grew
With all the promise that appear'd
So brightly then, still more endear'd--
If, as the Honey with the Bee,
Affection dwells with poesy:
If that Affection is comprest,
And hoarded in a Father's breast,
Whose very soul doth blessings shed
Upon a grateful darling's head;
While every look is treasur'd there,
Till Thought itself becomes a prayer,
And Hopes hang on him full and gay.
"As blossoms on a bough in May"(1)--
Shall any venture to intrude
On thee? Oh! not with footstep rude,
But with a timorous zeal I come,
Just hang this wreath upon his tomb--
Record fond wishes sadly o'er,
To see my little favourite more!

* * * * *

(Footnote 1:
As many hopes hang on his noble head
As blossoms on a bough in May; and sweet ones!
--_Beaumont and Fletcher._)


(The end)
Matilda Betham's poem: On The Death Of Herbert Southey: Addressed To His Father (Vignette 24)

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