Poems of Felicia Hemans in Forget Me Not, 1829/The Sculptured Children
From The Museum of Foreign Literature and Science, Vol. 13, December 1828,
The Forget Me Not, page 11
From the Forget Me Not.
THE SCULPTURED CHILDREN,
On Chantrey's Monument at Litchfield.
By MRS. HEMANS.
The gentle babes, thus girdling one another
Within their alabaster innocent arms.
Fair images of sleep!
Hallow'd, and soft, and deep!
On whose calm lids the dreamy quiet lies,
Like moonlight on shut bells
Of flowers in mossy dells,
Fill'd with the hush of night and summer skies;
How many hearts have felt
Your silent beauty melt
Their strength to gushing tenderness away!
How many sudden tears,
From depths of buried years
All freshly bursting, have confess'd your sway!
How many eyes will shed
Still, o'er your marble bed,
Such drops, from Memory's troubled fountains wrung!
While Hope hath blights to bear,
While Love breathes mortal air,
While roses perish ere to glory sprung.
Yet, from a voiceless home,
If some sad mother come
To bend and linger o'er your lovely rest;
As o'er the cheek's warm glow,
And the soft breathings low
Of babes, that grew and faded on her breast;
If then the dovelike tone
Of those faint murmurs gone,
O'er her sick sense too piercingly return;
If for the soft bright hair,
And brow and bosom fair,
And life, now dust, her soul too deeply yearn;
O gentlest forms! entwin'd
Like tendrils, which the wind
May wave, so clasp'd, but never can unlink;
Send from your calm profound
A still small voice, a sound
Of hope, forbidding that lone heart to sink.
By all the pure, meek mind
In your pale beauty shrined,
By childhood's love—too bright a bloom to die!
O'er her worn spirit shed,
O fairest, holiest Dead!
The Faith, Trust, Light, of Immortality!