Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
49. On the Death of My Son Charles
 
By Daniel Webster
 
 
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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