The lesser griefs that may be said,
      That breathe a thousand tender vows,
      Are but as servants in a house
Where lies the master newly dead;

Who speak their feeling as it is,
      And weep the fulness from the mind:
      "It will be hard," they say, "to find
Another service such as this."

My lighter moods are like to these,
      That out of words a comfort win;
      But there are other griefs within,
And tears that at their fountain freeze;

For by the hearth the children sit
      Cold in that atmosphere of Death,
      And scarce endure to draw the breath,
Or like to noiseless phantoms flit;

But open converse is there none,
      So much the vital spirits sink
      To see the vacant chair, and think,
"How good! how kind! and he is gone."

Last modified 14 February 2010