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Is it, at last, then so? Is she then dead?

What! dead at last

quite quite, for ever, dead?

I do not weep!—the springs of tears are dry'd.'

He resorted many times to gaze, with feelings that no words can express, upon the form of her who had bore him, and who, tenderly as she had ever watched for his advantage and pleasure, could now show to him no tokens of recognition, could neither hear his voice, nor answer to his passionate apostrophes and laments.

Parents we can have but once.

Sleep, that "knits up the ravelled sleeve of care," refused its peace to his weary lids; and he remained, his eyes opened wide upon the cold, blank darkness, reflecting upon the change that had taken place in his destiny.

You must bear with me,

Pray now, forget and forgive: I am old and foolish.2

Be your tears wet? Yes, faith. I pray you, weep not: If you have poison for me, I will drink it.3

O! she is gone for ever!

I know when one is dead, and when one lives;
She's dead as earth :-lend me a looking-glass,
If that her breath will mist or stain the stone,
Why-then she lives.1

And thou no breath at all? O, thou wilt come no more,

Never, never, never, never, never!

Pray you undo this button:- Thank you, Sir.

2 King Lear.

4 Ibid.

1 Congreve (Mourning Bride, A. 5.)
3 lbid.

Do you see this?-Look on her-look- her lips;
Look there, look there!

[LEAR dies.]1

But to her closing eyes, for all were there,
Nothing was wanting; and, through many a year,
We shall remember, with a fond delight,

The words so precious which we heard that night."

She slept in peace,- say rather, soar'd to heaven.
She pass'd away

So sweetly from the world, as if her clay
Lay only down to slumber :-then forbear
To let on her blest ashes fall a tear;

Or, if thou art too much woman, softly weep,
Lest grief disturb the silence of her sleep.3

I have now, he pathetically remarks, lost my barrier between me and death. God grant I may live to be as well prepared for it as I confidently believe her to have been! If the way to Heaven be through piety, truth, justice and charity, she is there.1

The king received this fatal news (the death of the queen-mother) after the battle of Kolin, and at a moment when fortune seemed most to have declared against the Prussians. He was deeply affected at it, having always venerated and adored this princess as a tender mother, whose virtues and great qualities caused the admiration of those who

1 King Lear.

2 Rogers (Human Life).

3 On Venetia Stanley, a beautiful creature of her day, who was found dead on her couch; her hand supporting her head in the attitude of sleep.

4 Swift (On the Death of his Mother, i. 111.) (Scott's ed.)

had the happiness to approach her. Her death did not occasion merely a formal mourning, but was a public calamity. The great regretted her amiable and generous manners, the lower orders her condescension, the poor their benefactress, the unfortunate their consoling protectress, the men of letters their patroness; and all those who had the honour to approach her more nearly, as part of her family, felt as if they had lost a part of themselves, and were much more unhappy at the blow which carried her away from them than she was herself.'

See where the kindest, best of mothers lies,
And death has closed her ever-watching eyes;
Has lodged, at last, in peace her weary breast,
And lull'd her many piercing cares to rest.

Still, still she is my soul's diurnal theme,
The waking vision, and the wailing dream;
Amid the ruddy sun's enlivening blaze,

O'er my
dark eyes her dewy image plays;
And, in the dread dominion of the night,
Shines out again the sadly pleasing sight;
Looks soft, yet awful, melting yet serene,
Where both the mother and the saint are seen.
I see her with immortal beauty glow;
The early wrinkle, care-contracted, gone,
Her tears all wiped, and all her sorrows flown.2

It is not the tear at this moment shed,
When the cold stone has just been laid o'er her,

1 Histoire de la Guerre de Sept Ans, par Frederic II.
2 Thomson (Lines on the Death of his Mother).

That can tell how beloved was the one who has fled,
And how deep in our hearts we deplore her.
'Tis the tear through many a long day wept,
Through a life by her loss all shaded;
'Tis the sad remembrance fondly kept,
When all lighter griefs have faded.1

Oh! that those lips had language! life has pass'd
With me but roughly since I saw thee last.
Those lips are thine, thy own dear smile I see,
The same that oft in childhood solaced me.
The meek intelligence of those dear eyes :
Blest be the art that can immortalize.2

No voice so sweet attunes his cares to rest,
So soft no pillow as his mother's breast.

Thus charm'd to sweet repose, when twilight hours
Shed their soft influence on celestial bowers,
The cherub, Innocence, with smile divine,
Shuts his white wings, and sleeps on beauty's shrine.


A life which had been so blameless and so blessed, that only such a death could crown it, by proving what an angel a woman can be in doing, feeling, and suffering.

Klopstock added, with strong emotion, "Be my guardian angel." She answered, with a look of undying love, "Who would not be so?" He indulged, after her death, the fond thought that she hovered, a guardian spirit, near him still."

Across the threshold led,

And every tear kiss'd off as soon as shed,

1 Moore.

2 Cowper (On his Mother's Picture).

3 Darwin, Bot. Gard, canto 3.

4 Klopstock's Meta. See Loves of the Poets.

His house she enters, there to be a light
Shining within, when all without is night;
A guardian angel o'er his life presiding,
Doubling his pleasures, and his cares dividing,
Winning him back, when mingling in the throng,
Back from a world we love, alas! too long,
To fireside happiness, to hours of ease,
Blest with that charm, the certainty to please.
How oft her eyes read his; her gentle mind
To all his wishes, all his thoughts inclined!1

Oh! she was good as she was fair,
None, none on earth were like her,
As pure in thought as angels are,
To know her was to love her.
When little, and her eyes, her voice,
Her every gesture, said "rejoice,"
Her coming was a gladness.

And as she grew, her modest grace,

Her downcast look, 't was heaven to trace;
When, shading with her hands her face,

She half-inclined to sadness.

Her voice, whate'er she said, enchanted,

Like music, to the heart it went;
And her dark eyes, how eloquent!
Ask what they would, 'twas granted.2

Something than beauty dearer, should they look
Or on the mind, or mind-illumined face.3

Una ninfa sì bella e sì gentile;

Ma che dissi una ninfa ? anzi una Dea,
Più fresca, e più vezzosa,

1 Rogers (Human Life).
3 Thomson.

2 Rogers (Jacquelin).

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