Eliza Acton

On the Death of Major Whitefoord, December 15th 1825

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Like blighted leaves, around us fall
The young, the gifted, and the brave;
And still the most belov'd of all
Seem earliest fated to the grave.

With health the morning saw thee blest,
And gladness brighten'd o'er thy brow;
When ev'ning flung across the West
Her dark'ning shadows,--where wert thou?

Cold, cold for ever was thy heart,
And hush'd its pulse of joy, or pain:
Life's silver cord was torn apart,
The golden bowl was broken then.

Without one sign of warning giv'n,
To tell of danger lurking near,
With sudden wrench the chain was riv'n,
Which kept thy pilgrim footsteps here.

Yes! ere the sun whose dawning ray
Upon thy peaceful waking shone,
Withdrew from heav'n the light of day,
Thy spirit to its rest was gone.

And many a mourner o'er thy bed,
In pale, and speechless anguish hung;
And burning tears above thee shed,
From agony's deep source were wrung.

Ev'n strangers wept for thee !--and yet,
By voices to thine ear unknown,
With fulness of unfeign'd regret,
Thy name is breath'd in sorrow's tone.

And, oh! through long, long years to come,
Shall sad, but tend'rest thoughts of thee,
Within the circle of thy home,
Be shrin'd and cherish'd faithfully!

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Eliza Acton