10. A Picture

"The maiden is not dead, but sleepeth."

SHE is not gone;—still in our sight
    That dearest maid shall live,
In form as true, in tints as bright,
    As youth and health could give.

Still, still is ours the modest eye;
    The smile unwrought by art;
The glance that shot so piercingly
    Affection's keenest dart;

The thrilling voice, I ne'er could hear
    But felt a joy and pain;—
A pride that she was ours, a fear
    Ours she might not remain; {30}

Whether the page divine call'd forth
    Its clear sweet, tranquil tone,
Or cheerful hymn, or seemly mirth
    In sprightlier measure shown;

The meek inquiry of that face,
    Musing on wonders found,
As 'mid dim paths she sought to trace
    The truth on sacred ground;

The thankful sigh that would arise,
    When aught her doubts removed,
Full sure the explaining voice to prize,
    Admiring while she loved;

The pensive brow, the world might see
    When she in crowds was found;
The burst of heart, the o'erflowing glee
    When only friends were round;

Hope's warmth of promise, prompt to fill
    The thoughts with good in store,
Match'd with content's deep stream, which still
    Flow'd on, when hope was o'er; {31}

That peace, which, with its own bright day,
    Made cheapest sights shine fair;
That purest grace, which track'd its way
    Safe from aught earthly there.

Such was she in the sudden hour
    That brought her Maker's call,—
Proving her heart's self-mastering power
    Blithely to part with all,—

All her eye loved, all her hand press'd
    With keen affection's glow,
The voice of home, all pleasures best,
    All dearest thoughts below.

From friend-lit hearth, from social board,
    All duteously she rose;
For faith upon the Master's word
    Can find a sure repose.

And in her wonder up she sped,
    And tried relief in vain;
Then laid her down upon her bed
    Of languor and of pain,— {32}

And waited till the solemn spell,
    (A ling'ring night and day,)
Should fill its numbers, and compel
    Her soul to come away.

Such was she then; and such she is,
    Shrined in each mourner's breast;
Such shall she be, and more than this,
    In promised glory blest;

When in due lines her Saviour dear
    His scatter'd saints shall range,
And knit in love souls parted here,
    Where cloud is none, nor change.

, 1828.

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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
Copyright 2007 by The National Institute for Newman Studies. All rights reserved.