A Celebration of Women Writers

"To the Memory of Heber" by Felicia Hemans (1793-1835) Records of Woman: With Other Poems. Edinburgh: William Blackwood, & London: T. Cadell, 1828, second edition. pp. 237-238.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom


[Page 238] 

TO THE MEMORY OF HEBER.


Umile in tanta gloria.–PETRARCH.


IF it be sad to speak of treasures gone,
  Of sainted genius call'd too soon away,
Of light, from this world taken, while it shone
  Yet kindling onward to the perfect day;
How shall our grief, if mournful these things be,
Flow forth, oh, Thou of many gifts! for thee?

Hath not thy voice been here amongst us heard?
  And that deep soul of gentleness and power,
Have we not felt its breath in every word,
  Wont from thy lip, as Hermon's dew, to shower?
Yes, in our hearts thy fervent thoughts have burn'd–
Of heaven they were, and thither have return'd.

[Page 239] 

How shall we mourn thee?–With a lofty trust,
  Our life's immortal birthright from above!
With a glad faith, whose eye, to track the just,
  Thro' shades and mysteries lifts a glance of love,
And yet can weep!–for nature thus deplores
The friend that leaves us, tho' for happier shores.

And one high tone of triumph o'er thy bier,
  One strain of solemn rapture be allow'd!
Thou, that rejoicing on thy mid career,
  Not to decay, but unto death, hast bow'd;
In those bright regions of the rising sun,
Where victory ne'er a crown like thine had won.

Praise! for yet one more name with power endow'd,
  To cheer and guide us, onward as we press;
Yet one more image on the heart bestow'd,
  To dwell there, beautiful in holiness!
Thine, Heber, thine! whose memory from the dead,
  Shines as the star which to the Saviour led.

      ST. ASAPH, Sept. 1826.

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Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom