In Memory Of Charles Wentworth Upham, Jr.

A poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes

He was all sunshine; in his face
The very soul of sweetness shone;
Fairest and gentlest of his race;
None like him we can call our own.

Something there was of one that died
In her fresh spring-time long ago,
Our first dear Mary, angel-eyed,
Whose smile it was a bliss to know.

Something of her whose love imparts
Such radiance to her day's decline,
We feel its twilight in our hearts
Bright as the earliest morning-shine.

Yet richer strains our eye could trace
That made our plainer mould more fair,
That curved the lip with happier grace,
That waved the soft and silken hair.

Dust unto dust! the lips are still
That only spoke to cheer and bless;
The folded hands lie white and chill
Unclasped from sorrow's last caress.

Leave him in peace; he will not heed
These idle tears we vainly pour,
Give back to earth the fading weed
Of mortal shape his spirit wore.

"Shall I not weep my heartstrings torn,
My flower of love that falls half blown,
My youth uncrowned, my life forlorn,
A thorny path to walk alone?"

O Mary! one who bore thy name,
Whose Friend and Master was divine,
Sat waiting silent till He came,
Bowed down in speechless grief like thine.

"Where have ye laid him?" "Come," they say,
Pointing to where the loved one slept;
Weeping, the sister led the way, -
And, seeing Mary, "Jesus wept."

He weeps with thee, with all that mourn,
And He shall wipe thy streaming eyes
Who knew all sorrows, woman-born, -
Trust in his word; thy dead shall rise!

April 15, 1860.

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