Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1788–1820
Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vol. IV: Literature of the Republic, Part I., Constitutional period, 1788–1820
Lines on the Death of His Son Charles
By Daniel Webster (1782–1852)
[Written in 1825.—The Private Correspondence of Daniel Webster. Edited by Fletcher Webster. 1856.]

MY son, thou wast my heart’s delight,
  Thy morn of life was gay and cheery;
That morn has rushed to sudden night,
  Thy father’s house is sad and dreary.
I held thee on my knee, my son!        5
  And kissed thee laughing, kissed thee weeping;
But ah! thy little day is done,
  Thou’rt with thy angel sister sleeping.
The staff, on which my years should lean,
  Is broken, ere those years come o’er me;        10
My funeral rites thou shouldst have seen,
  But thou art in the tomb before me.
Thou rear’st to me no filial stone,
  No parent’s grave with tears beholdest;
Thou art my ancestor, my son!        15
  And stand’st in Heaven’s account the oldest.
On earth my lot was soonest cast,
  Thy generation after mine,
Thou hast thy predecessor past;
  Earlier eternity is thine.        20
I should have set before thine eyes
  The road to Heaven, and showed it clear;
But thou untaught spring’st to the skies,
  And leav’st thy teacher lingering here.
Sweet Seraph, I would learn of thee,        25
  And hasten to partake thy bliss!
And oh! to thy world welcome me,
  As first I welcomed thee to this.
Dear Angel, thou art safe in heaven;
  No prayers for thee need more be made;        30
Oh! let thy prayers for those be given
  Who oft have blessed thy infant head.
My Father! I beheld thee born,
  And led thy tottering steps with care;
Before me risen to Heaven’s bright morn,        35
  My son! My father! guide me there.

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