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Death of an Infant

by Charles Sprague

Charles Sprague, American poet, was born in Boston in 1791, and died in 1875. He is entombed at Central Burying Ground in Boston Common. Sprague was called the Banker Poet of Boston as he worked in the banking industry for most of his life, and wrote poetry and prose for intellectual reasons. His poems are mostly about human emotion.

Death of an Infant

One little bud adorned my bower, 
 And shed sweet fragrance round; 
It grew in beauty, hour by hour, 
Till, ah! the Spoiler came in power, 
 And crushed it to the ground.

Yet not forever in the dust 
 That beauteous bud shall lie; 
No! — in the garden of the just. 
Beneath God's glorious eye, we trust, 
 'T will bloom again on high.

Lines to a Young Mother

Young mother! what can feeble friendship say, 
To soothe the anguish of this mournful day? 
They, they alone whose hearts like thine have bled. 
Know how the living sorrow for the dead; 
Each tutored voice, that seeks such grief to cheer. 
Strikes cold upon the weeping parent's ear; 
I've felt it all — alas! too well I know 
How vain all earthly power to hush thy woe! 
God cheer thee, childless mother! 't is not given 
For man to ward the blow that falls from Heaven.

I've felt it all — as thou art feeling now; 
Like thee, with stricken heart and aching brow, 
I've sat and watched by dying Beauty's bed, 
And burning tears of hopeless anguish shed; 
I've gazed upon the sweet, but pallid face, 
And vainly tried some comfort there to trace; 
I've listened to the short and struggling breath; 
I've seen the cherub eye grow dim in death; 
Like thee, I've veiled my head in speechless gloom, 
And laid my first-born in the silent tomb.


— The Poetical and Prose Writings of Charles Sprague, New Edition, A. Williams & Co, 1876


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