After Witnessing A Death-Scene.

A poem by George W. Sands

Press close your lips,
And bow your heads to earth, for Death is here!
Mark ye not how across that eye so clear,
Steals his eclipse?

A moment more,
And the quick throbbings of her heart shall cease,
Her pain-wrung spirit will obtain release,
And all be o'er!

Hush! Seal ye up
Your gushing tears, for Mercy's hand hath shaken
Her earth-bonds off, and from her lip hath taken
Grief's bitter cup.

Ye know the dead
Are they who rest secure from care and strife, -
That they who walk the thorny way of life,
Have tears to shed.

Ye know her pray'r,
Was for the quiet of the tomb's deep rest, -
Love's sepulchre lay cold within her breast,
Could peace dwell there?

A tale soon told,
Is of her life the story; she had loved,
And he who won her heart to love, had proved
Heartless and cold.

Lay her to rest,
Where shines and falls the summer's sun and dew;
For these should shine and fall where lies so true
And fond a breast!

A full release
From every pang is given to the dead, -
So on the stone ye place above her head,
Write only "Peace."*

When Spring comes back,
With music on her lips, - joy in her eye, -
Her sunny banner streaming through the sky, -
Flow'rs in her track -

Then come ye here,
And musing from the busy world apart,
Drop on the turf that wraps her mouldering heart,
Sweet Pity's tear.

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