Mere de Douleur

October 9th 1858. SPRING PARK.

Neath a picture of the blessed
Ever Virgin Mother, dear,
With its cheek of patient sorrow
Wetted with one holy tear,

Sits my own beloved mother,
In the meekness of her age,
With a ripening patience turning
Life's late, autumn-tinted page-

Sits beneath its sacred shadow
As beneath a lovely vine,
On whose fair, benignant branches,
Sweetest-smelling clusters shine.

Placidly across her features
Strays a meditative smile,
Lighting up their tender pallor
With a gleam of heaven; the while

Her soft lips in mildest silence
Close upon a lovely thought,
By the Virgin's mournful aspect
To her inmost feeling brought.

O my mother dear, as gentle
As the south winds, breathing now
O'er our richly flushing forests
And thy softly furrowed brow,

Never may thy chastened spirit,
'Neath a darker shadow pine,
Than beneath these pictured dolours
Of this Mother, most benign.

Never may more bitter juices
Wet those patient lips of thine,
Than the juices of the clusters
Purpling o'er this virgin vine.

And, O mother, meek in wisdom,
May thy soul, in faith, repose
Under its celestial shadow,
When thy dying eyelids close

On the flitting shades and sunshine
Of thy swiftly fleeting race:
Jesus! Mary! Joseph! aid her!
Shield her in your loved embrace!

by Eliza Allen Starr

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