John Pierpont ( )


My Child


I cannot make him dead!
His fair sunshiny head
Is ever bounding round my study-chair;
Yet, when my eyes, now dim
With tears, I turn to him,
The vision vanisheshe is not there!

I walk my parlor floor,
And through the open door
I hear a footfall on the chamber stair;
I m stepping toward the hall
To give the boy a call;
And then bethink me thathe is not there!

I thread the crowded street;
A satchelled lad I meet,
With the same beaming eyes and colored hair:
And, as he s running by,
Follow him with my eye,
Scarcely believing thathe is not there!

I know his face is hid
Under the coffin-lid;
Closed are his eyes; cold is his forehead fair;
My hand that marble felt;
Oer it in prayer I knelt;
Yet my heart whispers thathe is not there!

I cannot make him dead!
When passing by the bed,
So long watched over with parental care,
My spirit and my eye
Seek it inquiringly,
Before the thought comes thathe is not there!

When, at the cool, gray break
Of day, from sleep I wake,
With my first breathing of the morning air
My soul goes up, with joy,
To Him who gave my boy,
Then comes the sad thought thathe is not there!

When at the days calm close,
Before we seek repose,
I m with his mother, offering up our prayer,
Whateer I may be saying,
I am, in spirit, praying
For our boys spirit, thoughhe is not there!

Not there! Where, then, is he?
The form I used to see
Was but the raiment that he used to wear;
The grave, that now doth press
Upon that cast-off dress,
Is but his wardrobe locked;he is not there!

He lives! In all the past
He lives; nor, to the last,
Of seeing him again will I despair;
In dreams I see him now;
And, on his angel brow,
I see it written, Thou shalt see me there!

Yes, we all live to God!
Father, thy chastening rod
So help us, thine afflicted ones, to bear,
That, in the spirit-land,
Meeting at thy right hand,
T will be our heaven to find thathe is there!



John Pierpont's other poems:
  1. Begone Vile Rum
  2. The Chain
  3. Drinking Song
  4. Christmas Hymn
  5. To My Grave


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