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The Lot Of Earth

Lydia Howard Sigourney

There's mourning 'mid the boughs, high in the forest fair,
The widow'd linnet wails her spouse, caught in the fowler's snare;
While the forsaken nest laments with shriller woe,
The gentle robin's brooding breast, pierced by the archer's bow.

There's mourning 'mid the flocks that graze the verdant plain,
When from the yearning mother's side the playful lamb is slain.
There's mourning in the flood, for what the barbed hook
And the wide-spread, unpitying net in sweeping vengeance took.

And where the dire harpoon doth the vex'd wave distain,
And with strong agony transfix the monarch of the main.
There's mourning in the field, the grass that fell to-day,
Reluctant, to the scythe did yield its fragrant life away.

And the reaper in his path, how little doth he heed
The expiring of the mangled swathe that at his feet doth bleed!
The maiden, as she goes among the flowers at morn,
Recks not the weeping of the rose that from its bud is torn.

Though mourning all around, in ocean, earth, and air,
Doth tell that grief-seeds sow the ground, and blossom every where:
But man's aspiring race, who is their pilgrim path
Must oft the mocking phantom chase and drink the cup of wrath,

With unrepining heart this discipline should share,
And to the heaven appointed dart the breast in silence bare,
Since they alone, of all Creation's sorrowing train,
May hope these fleeting ills shall work their everlasting gain.

The Weeping Willow. 1791-1865.

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