A moving funeral poem by English poet Charles Lamb, mourning the loss of a special loved one who cannot be replaced.


When maidens such as Hester die

Their place ye may not well supply,

Though ye among a thousand try

With vain endeavour.

A month or more hath she been dead,

Yet cannot I by force be led

To think upon the wormy bed

And her together.

A springy motion in her gait,

A rising step, did indicate

Of pride and joy no common rate,

That flush'd her spirit:

I know not by what name beside

I shall it call: if 'twas not pride,

It was a joy to that allied,

She did inherit.

Her parents held the Quaker rule

Which doth the human feeling cool;

But she was train'd in Nature's school;

Nature had blest her.

A waking eye, a prying mind;

A heart that stirs, is hard to bind;

A hawk's keen sight ye cannot blind;

Ye could not Hester.

My sprightly neighbour! gone before

To that unknown and silent shore,

Shall we not meet, as heretofore

Some summer morning

When from thy cheerful eyes a ray

Hath struck a bliss upon the day,

A bliss that would not go away,

A sweet fore-warning?


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