Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
A Funeral Piece
By Hannah F. Gould (1789–1865)
LIFT not, lift not the shadowy pall
  From the beauteous form it veileth—
Nor ask, as the offerings of sorrow fall,
  Who ’t is that the mourner waileth!
For, we could not look on a face so dear        5
  With the burial gloom surrounding.—
A name so cherish’d we must not hear
  While her funeral bell is sounding.
But seek ’mid the throng of the youthful fair
  Their loveliest still to number!—        10
Ye will find her not, for ’t is her we bear
  In the mansion of death to slumber.
She ’s gone from our sight like a gladdening ray
  Of light, that awhile was given
To brighten the earth; but hath past away,        15
  All pure to its source in heaven.
Her heart so feeling and finely strung,
  It never was form’d for aching—
For, when by grief it was rudely wrung
  It finish’d at once by breaking.        20
And that tender flower to the cold, dark tomb,
  From the scenes she adorn’d is banish’d:
She hath snapt from the stem in her morning bloom,
  Like a vision of beauty vanish’d!
A mournful group at her dying bed,        25
  We watch’d with sorrowing o’er her,
Till the soul shone forth with her pinions spread
  For a glorious world before her.
But grief was hush’d in the final hour,
  And mute we stood around her,        30
As the spirit escaped with a mighty power
  From the mortal cord that bound her.
For, the delicate clay lay pale and chill,
  Its painful conflict over;
And we heard a voice pronounce, “Be still,        35
  And know I AM JEHOVAH!
“The bars of the grave through time must be
  This sacred dust’s protection;
But they who trust, shall find in me
  The life and the resurrection!”        40

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