AND Sonnets.

by Cornwall Bayley


On the Death of ROBERT SUMNER, A.B. Christ. Coll. Comb. ob. June, 1804, etat. 22.

    “I am distressed for thee my brother! Very pleasant hast thou been unto me!—Thy love to me was wonderful!”     2. Sam. I. 26.


OH! my prophetic soul! and did my heart
So justly true the fatal fear impart?
Did sorrow tell me when my Sumner’s breast
First bade me slumber in its generous rest;
That soon, e’re friendship’s raptures could commence.
My heart should mourn an early exile thence?
And yet, dear youth, the same internal dread,
Had mark’d thee (conscious) for the fleeting dead;
The hour that gave reflecting wisdom birth,
Told thee how short thy sad career on earth;
Each rising year proclaim’d the tale again,
With louder summons and severer pain;
Whilst nature seem’d to tremble on the brink,
Ev’n life itself in hourly death to sink;
And every pulse chain’d by the sad controul
Died in the yielding conflict ’save thy Soul!
That soul the mirror of ingenuous youth,
Whose every wish and every thought was truth;
That soul which yet in mercy may impart
Its wanted influence to my bleeding heart;
That soul, oppress’d by sorrow’s bitterest sway,
Taught thee, resign’d, to suffer and obey;
Undaunted watch’d the limits of thy breath,
And smil’d in triumph ’midst the pangs of Death! [Page 26]