Given And Taken
The snow-flakes were softly falling
Adown on the landscape white,
When the violet eyes of my first born
Opened unto the light;
And I thought as I pressed him to me,
With loving, rapturous thrill,
He was pure and fair as the snow-flakes
That lay on the landscape still.
I smiled when they spoke of the weary
Length of the winter’s night,
Of the days so short and so dreary,
Of the sun’s cold cheerless light—
I listened, but in their murmurs
Nor by word nor thought took part,
For the smiles of my gentle darling
Brought light to my home and heart.
Oh! quickly the joyous springtime
Came back to our ice-bound earth,
Filling meadows and woods with sunshine,
And hearts with gladsome mirth,
But, ah! on earth’s dawning beauty
There rested a gloomy shade,
For our tiny household blossom
Began to droop and fade.
And I, shuddering, felt that the frailest
Of the flowers in the old woods dim
Had a surer hold on existence
Than I dared to hope for him.
In the flush of the summer’s beauty
On a sunny, golden day,
When flowers gemmed dell and upland,
My darling passed away.
Now I chafed at the brilliant sunshine
That flooded my lonely room,
Now I wearied of bounteous Nature,
So full of life and bloom;
I regretted the wintry hours
With the snow-flakes falling fast,
And the little form of my nursling
With his arms around me cast.
They laid his tiny garment
In an attic chamber high,
His coral, his empty cradle,
That they might not meet my eye;
And his name was never uttered,
What e’er each heart might feel,
For they wished the wound in my bosom
Might have tune to close and heal.
It has done so thanks to that Power
That has been my earthly stay,
And should you talk of my darling,
I could listen now all day,
For I know that each passing minute
Brings me nearer life’s last shore,
And nearer that glorious Kingdom
Where we both shall meet once more!