BLACK CAT POEMS
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Martha Lavinia Hoffman
Dark were the world if o'er its gloom
The gospel light had never dawned,
if through the tomb
We saw no better world beyond.
The smile of earthly gladness fades
Destined to swift and sure decay,
Disease this mortal frame invades
And leaves but cold and lifeless clay.
So brief is life--a few short years
Measure this fleeting transient breath,
Sorrow and gladness, smiles and tears
Surrender to the angel--
"Come unto me," the Saviour said;
No more a weary pilgrim roam;
Swift through the
the chariot sped
That bore the deathless spirit
Veiled are the joyous, sparkling eyes,
No more on earth to smile or weep,
No more to ope in glad surprise
When earthly music breaks their
Peaceful is now the weary brain
Its tumult stilled, its tempest o'er,
Its once bright prospects slowly wane
As lights upon a distant shore.
But oh, true heart, art thou asleep?
Thou who wert faithful to the last
Struggling the flickering flame to keep
When all else sank before the blast?
Yes, thou art still. No earthly voice
Can rouse thee from thy pulseless calm,
The heart once weighed with many a cross
Has changed its sorrows for a psalm.
They are not here, the
But the frail house of its abode,
The fires are quenched the hearth bereft
That once with warmth and
Through the dim windows, curtained now,
Once an ethereal spirit shone;
On the pale rigid cheek and brow
The blushing rose of health has blown.
The mind dwells not within its walls
Nor knows its desolate decay
But far beyond death's lonely halls
It revels in eternal day.
The heart that oft unsatisfied
Throbbed with a longing unexpressed,
Freed when the quaking mortal died,
Has found the Christian's peaceful rest.
When on a lonely coffin lid
You hear the heavy clods descend,
And "dust to dust" is sadly said
Above the ashes of a friend;
Oh, do not mourn in mute despair!
Death cannot break love's silent power;
The hidden bud we nourish here
has bloomed a perfect flower.
cannot die. A lengthened chain
Binds heart and soul, and mind and will
To those we hope to meet again,
The same dear friends who love us still.
The Christian knows no darkened grave,
Before earth's bells their dirge could toll
Angelic palms began to wave
To welcome home a weary soul.
Gather sweet flowers of hope and love
And bring them with a noiseless tread,
Symbols of joys that bloom above,
To strew around your sacred dead.
And as their sweet perfumes arise
Linked with the spirit's voiceless prayer
Look up to yonder paradise
And count your loss a triumph there.
For Hope's triumphant bow has spanned
The cloud that hovers o'er the tomb,
beholds the better land
Where fairer flowers than Eden's bloom.
poems by Martha Lavinia Hoffman