In Memoriam. - Madam Olivia Phelps,

A poem by Lydia Howard Sigourney

Widow of the late ANSON G. PHELPS, Esq., died at New York, April 24th, 1859, aged 74.


When the good mother dieth, and the home
So long made happy by her boundless love
Is desolate and empty, there are tears
Of filial anguish, not to be represt;
And when the many friends who at her side
Sought social sympathy and counsel sweet,
Or the sad poor, who, for their Saviour's sake,
Found bountiful relief, and kind regard,
Stand at that altered threshold, and perceive
Faces of strangers from her casement look,
There is a pang not to be told in words.

Yet, when the christian, having well discharged
A life-long duty, riseth where no sin
Or possibility of pain or death
May follow, should there not be praise to Him
Who gives such victory?
Thus it is even now--
Tears with the triumph-strain;
For we are made
Of flesh as well as spirit, and are taught
By Joy and Sorrow, walking side by side,
And with strong contrast deepening truths divine.

But unto thee, dear friend, whose breath was prayer,
And o'er whose mortal sickness hovering Faith
Shed heaven's content, there was no further need
Of tutelage like that by which we learn,
Too slow, perchance, with vacillating minds,
What the disciples of our Lord should be;
For when the subjugation to God's will
Is perfect, and affliction all disarmed,
Is not life's lesson done?

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