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TO MRS. MARY GIFFIN. 319
0, had he like his sister died, Were he but sleeping by her side, They could have borne it all!
But, dead to virtue, lost in guilt Surely the parents' heart-strings felt
A pang unknown before; Fiercer than that which rends the heart, When those we dearly love depart,
As.life's last hopes are o'er. Strange gloom had o'er that circle spread: No cheerful tone, no gladsome treadó
Even childhood check'd its glee, As if a step too light would start The dagger to the parents' heart,
And wake their misery.
O, fearful change! I may not now Paint the dire thoughts which pain'd my brow,
And burn'd within my breast: I left the thresholdóbut the scene, The picture I beheld within,
Was on my heart imprest.
TO MRS. MARY GIFFIN. What theme shall wake the warblings of my lyre ? What muse shall tune it with poetic fire, While I shall sine: for thee ?