1830 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John G. C. Brainard

John Greenleaf Whittier, "To the Memory of J. G. C. Brainard" The Philadelphia Album 4 (11 September 1830) 296.



Gone to the land of silence — to the shadows of the dead—
With the green turf on thy bosom, and the gray stone at thy head!
Hath thy spirit too departed? Doth it never linger here,
When the dew upon the bending flower is falling like a tear?—
When the sunshine lights the green earth like the perfect smile of God,
Or when the moonlight gladdens, or the pale stars look abroad?

Hast thou lost thy pleasant fellowship with the beautiful of Earth,
With the green trees and the quiet streams around thy place of birth?
The wave that wanders sea-ward — the tall, gray hills, whereon
Lingers, as if for sacrifice, the last light of the sun:—
The fair of form — the pure of soul — the eyes that shone, when thou
Wast answering to their smile of love — art thou not with them now?

Thou art sleeping calmly, Brainard — but the fame denied thee when
Thy way was with the multitude — the living tide of men,
Is burning o'er thy sepulchre, a holy light and strong,
And gifted ones are kneeling there, to breathe thy words of song—
The beautiful and pure of soul — the lights of Earth's cold bowers—
Are twining on thy funeral-stone a coronal of flowers!

Ay, freely hath the tear been given — and freely hath gone forth
The sigh of grief, that one like thee should'st pass away from Earth—
Yet those who mourn thee, mourn thee not like those to whom is given
No soothing hope, no blissful thought of parted friends in Heaven—
They feel that thou wast summoned to the Christian's high reward,
The everlasting joy of those whose trust is in the Lord.