Page:A Voice from the Nile, and Other Poems. (Thomson, Dobell).djvu/24

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xiii
Memoir.

Mrs. Barnes, whom he addresses as the "second Mother of my orphaned youth," is thus delineated :—

 "Thou patient heart to suffer and endure,
 Thou placid soul to mirror heavenly truth,
  Thou gracious presence wheresoever you go
 To gladden pleasure or to chasten strife.
  Thou gentlest friend to sympathise with woe,
 Thou perfect Mother and most perfect Wife."

In another Sonnet he says :—

 "My dear dear friends, my heart yearns forth to you
 In very many of its lonely hours;
  Nor sweetlier comes the balm of evening dew
 To all-day-drooping in fierce sunlight flowers.
  Than to this weary withered heart of mine
 The tender memories, the moonlight dreams
  Which make your home an ever-sacred shrine.
 And show your features lit with heavenly gleams."

Another of these Sonnets is of such interest and importance that I need make no apology for quoting it in full :—

 "Indeed you set me in a happy place.
 Dear for itself, and dearer much for you,
  And dearest still for one life-crowning grace—
 Dearest, though infinitely saddest too:
  For there my own Good Angel took my hand,
 And filled my soul with glory of her eyes.
  And led me through the love-lit Faerie Land
 Which joins our common world to Paradise.
  How soon, how soon, God called her from my side.
 Back to her own celestial sphere of day!
  And ever since she ceased to be my Guide,
 I reel and stumble on life's solemn way;
  Ah, ever since her eyes withdrew their light,
 I wander lost in blackest stormy night."

This Sonnet sums up in brief the sad story of his life.