The lesser griefs that may be said,
      That breathe a thousand tender vows,
      Are but as servants in a house
Where lies the master newly dead;

Who speak their feeling as it is,
      And weep the fulness from the mind:
      "It will be hard," they say, "to find
Another service such as this."

My lighter moods are like to these,
      That out of words a comfort win;
      But there are other griefs within,
And tears that at their fountain freeze;

For by the hearth the children sit
      Cold in that atmosphere of Death,
      And scarce endure to draw the breath,
Or like to noiseless phantoms flit;

But open converse is there none,
      So much the vital spirits sink
      To see the vacant chair, and think,
"How good! how kind! and he is gone."


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Last modified 14 February 2010