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Past, Present, and Future.

A Sketch.

By Grace Aguilar.

It was a place of graves, and still and lone,
As all of life’s strange history were flown,
And nothing left but the cold stones, that lay
Thick-crested o’er with emblems of decay—
High wavy grass, where never flowers had rest,
And the dull clinging moss, that lay caressed
E’en by the pale cold marble. There was one,
A mother’s last low resting; and her child
Stood gazing round bewildered. There was none
Like that her soul trail pictured, undefiled
By Time’s too with'ring hand. She sought a stone,
Pure in its spotless marble—standing lone,
With its brief record of a loved one gone,
And all untouched by shadow of decay;
For, oh! that full heart, but yesterday
It felt, since they had laid her there, alas!
Through bloomless weeds, and melancholy grass.
They led her where a lowly grave reposed,
Whose marble shrine thick clustering weeds enclosed,
There! lay she there! her tomb by Time’s cold hand
Touched as all others, in that grave-girt sand,
When scarcely seemed it that a week had passed
Since those fond eyes had looked and smiled their last;
Since that loved voice its last low whisper said,
And breathed its blessing on that mourner’s head.
Were these but memories now? and could it be
Long months had passed into eternity?
That time had flung his mantle o’er the grave,
And when the long grass in dark masses wave,
Low wailing accents filled the breezy blast;
“The loved, the mourned, the cherished, all are past.”
Shrine of the PAST! that solitude—around,
Beneath, that word of wo hath impress found—
Impress and echo; but on that lone heart
The PAST was PRESENT, sweeter joys t’impart
In shadow than in being. From the cup
Of mem’ry, life in such sweet hues gleamed up,
And brought forth bliss which had been with such power,
How might she deem them phantoms of the hour,
To shine awhile and pass? Too soon she felt
They were but shadows, in her heart that dwelt
And mingled with her being. Oh! the wo
Of such awak’ning! Fled the sunny glow,
The cherished dream,—the PAST once more was PAST,
And the dim PRESENT all its misery cast
One little moment; then, by Mercy sent,
The FUTURE to the present radiance lent,
And o’er that mourning spirit softly stole
Sweet visions of the freed, the heaven-born soul,
Awaiting hers in those fair realms of love,
Which smiled in beauty, life’s last home, above.
The PAST, the PRESENT, merged in Faith’s fond thought,
Which such bright glimpses of the FUTURE brought,
And softened that deep wo;­—and she hath bowed,
Believing and adoring, while the cloud
Folding that spirit, melted into tears,
Which grief assuaging, e’en its pang endears;—
She knew her heart must wear awhile its chain,
But earth in Faith’s effulgence smiled again.