The faces which I loved in infancy
Are gone; and bosom-friends of riper age,
With whom I fondly talk'd of years to come,
Summon'd before me to their heritage
Are in the better world, beyond the tomb.
And I have brethren there, and sisters dear,
And dearer babes. I therefore needs must dwell
Often in thought with those whom still I love so well.
Thus wilt thou feel in thy maturer mind;
When grief shall be thy portion, thou wilt find
Safe consolation in such thoughts as these,—
A present refuge in affliction's hour.
And if indulgent Heaven thy lot should bless
With all imaginable happiness.
Here shalt thou have, my child, beyond all power
Of chance, thy holiest, surest, best delight.
Take therefore now thy Father's latest lay,—
Perhaps his last;—and treasure in thine heart
The feelings that its musing strains convey.
A song it is of life's declining day,