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  Sorrow and Joy  

 

In sad procession borne away
    To sound of funeral knell,
Affection's tribute thus we pay,
And in earth's shelt'ring bosom lay
The friend to whom but yesterday
    We gave the sad farewell.

But scarce the melancholy sound
    Has died upon the ear,
Before the mournful dirge is drowned
By wedding-anthems' glad rebound,
That stir the solemn air around
    With merry peals and clear.

Within our home doth gladness tread
    So closely upon grief
That, in the tears of sorrow shed
O'er our beloved, lamented dead,
We see reflected joy instead
    That gives a blest relief.

A father and a daughter gone
    Beyond our fireside--
For one we loved and leaned upon
The skillful archer Death had drawn
His bow; and one in life's sweet dawn
    Went out a happy bride.

We gave to Heaven, in manhood's prime,
    Him whose brave strength and worth
Life's rugged steeps had taught to climb;
And her, for whom a tuneful rhyme
The bells of promise sweetly chime,
    We consecrate to earth.

Thus each a mystic path, untried,
    Has entered--God is just!
We leave with him our friend who died,
With him we leave our fair young bride
Who shall no more with us abide,
    And in His goodness trust.

Oh, life and death, uncertainty,
    Bright hopes and anxious fears,
Commingle so bewilderingly,
That perfect joy we may not see
Till all shall reunited be
    Beyond this vale of tears!

       - Hattie Howard


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