Poems and Essays

by Joseph Howe




Tears glisten in our infant eyes
    When first upon the light they break;
Tears flow, as, ere the spirit flies,
    A last leave of the world we take.

Tears trickle o’er the cheek of age,
    When, looking round for those who shed
Sweet flowers to cheer his pilgrimage,
    He finds them number’d with the dead. [Page 147]

Tears flow, while at the sacred shrine
    In Bridal vestments Beauty bows,
And calls on Heaven, with rites divine,
    To listen and record her vows.

Tears tremble in the Mother’s eyes
    While bending o’er her infant sleeping,
His Father’s smile she fondly spies,—
    This is the luxury of weeping.

Tears start, when at Fate’s stern command,
    From those we love we’re forced to part,
And wander to some distant land
    With heavy and repining heart.

And Oh! what tears of joy bedew
    The wanderer’s eyes when safe returning,
He clasps the loved, the hallow’d few,
    And sees his Cottage fire still burning.

And there are tears—yes, bitter tears,
    Which, like the torrent, fiercely roll,
Telling of guilt, remorse, and fears,—
    The burning lava of the soul. [Page 148]