Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Georgian Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Georgian Verse.  1909.
 
Casa’s Dirge
By David Macbeth Moir (1798–1851)
 
VAINLY for us the sunbeams shine,
  Dimm’d is our joyous hearth;
O Casa, dearer dust than thine
  Ne’er mix’d with mother earth!
Thou wert the corner-stone of love,        5
  The keystone of our fate;
Thou art not! Heaven scowls dark above,
  And earth is desolate.
 
Ocean may rave with billows curl’d
  And moons may wax and wane,        10
And fresh flowers blossom; but this world
  Shall claim not thee again.
Clos’d are the eyes which bade rejoice
  Our hearts till love ran o’er;
Thy smile is vanish’d and thy voice        15
  Silent for evermore.
 
Yes; thou art gone—our hearth’s delight,
  Our boy so fond and dear;
No more thy smiles to glad our sight,
  No more thy songs to cheer;        20
No more thy presence, like the sun,
  To fill our home with joy:
Like lightning hath thy race been run,
  As bright as swift, fair boy.
 
Now winter with its snow departs,        25
  The green leaves clothe the tree;
But summer smiles not on the hearts
  That bleed and break for thee:
The young May weaves her flowery crown,
  Her boughs in beauty wave;        30
They only shake their blossoms down
  Upon thy silent grave.
 
Dear to our souls is every spot
  Where thy small feet have trod;
There odours, breath’d from Eden, float,        35
  And sainted is the sod;
The wild bee with its buglet fine,
  The blackbird singing free,
Melt both thy mother’s heart and mine:
  They speak to us of thee!        40
 
Only in dreams thou comest now
  From Heaven’s immortal shore,
A glory round that infant brow,
  Which Death’s pale signet bore:
’Twas thy fond looks, ’twas thy fond lips,        45
  That lent our joys their tone;
And life is shaded with eclipse,
  Since thou from earth art gone.
 
Thine were the fond, endearing ways,
  That tenderest feeling prove;        50
A thousand wiles to win our praise,
  To claim and keep our love;
Fondness for us thrill’d all thy veins;
  And, Casa, can it be
That nought of all the past remains        55
  Except vain tears for thee?
 
Idly we watch thy form to trace
  In children on the street;
Vainly, in each familiar place,
  We list thy pattering feet;        60
Then, sudden, o’er these fancies crush’d,
  Despair’s black pinions wave;
We know that sound for ever hush’d:
  We look upon thy grave.
 
O heavenly child of mortal birth!        65
  Our thoughts of thee arise,
Not as a denizen of earth,
  But inmate of the skies:
To feel that life renew’d is thine
  A soothing balm imparts;        70
We quaff from out Faith’s cup divine,
  And Sabbath fills our hearts.
 
Thou leanest where the fadeless wands
  Of amaranth bend o’er;
Thy white wings brush the golden sands        75
  Of Heaven’s refulgent shore.
Thy home is where the psalm and song
  Of angels choir abroad,
And blessed spirits, all day long,
  Bask round the throne of God.        80
 
There change and change are not; the soul
  Quaffs bliss as from a sea,
And years, through endless ages, roll,
  From sin and sorrow free:
There gush for aye fresh founts of joy,        85
  New raptures to impart;
Oh! dare we call thee still our boy,
  Who now a seraph art?
 
A little while—a little while—
  Ah! long it cannot be!        90
And thou again on us wilt smile,
  Where angels smile on thee.
How selfish is the worldly heart:
  How sinful to deplore!
Oh! that we were where now thou art,        95
  Not lost, but gone before.
 
 
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