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How oft the school-room's bustling airs, And weary thoughts, and anxious cares,
Have been forgotten here ; This social hearth-stone had a charm, A pleasing smile, a soothing balm,
The drooping heart to cheer.
The eldest girl—I see her now With smiling lip, and cheerful brow,
As she was wont to shine; The happiest of a youthful throng, She had so rich a gift for song,
It seem'd almost divine.
But now that hearth was sad and lone— I miss'd Louisa's cheerful tone,
For death had claim'd his prey; But sweeter seem'd the song she sung, Since death had still'd her tuneful tongue,
And borne her form away.
Was there no other change than this— One spirit gone to realms of bliss ?
Then why that deep despair Impress'd upon the father's brow ? Why should the mother languish low,
Sick with corroding care ? Another form I miss'd that day— A son, a brother far away,
Within a prison's wall!