Charles Harpur

OF CORA, once so dearly ours,
    Would mournful memory sing;
Of how she came when came the flowers,
    To leave us with the spring.

That day (returned) which gave her breath
    Was that whereon she died,
And o’er the pangs of birth and death
    Passed blooming as a bride.

The spring it came, with never a storm,
    And nine times came and went,
Till its whole spirit with her form
    In budding beauty blent.

Yea, till its sentiment was wreathed
    About her eye it came,
And all its foregone influence breathed
    At mention of her name.

And aye her soul, her inward worth,
    Flushed out in subtle glows,
As from its heart come mantling forth
    The ardours of a rose.

It was a glory from within
    That made her face so fair,
A radiant spirit void of sin
    Was working outward there.

Her locks as they were burnished shone
    In many a massy fold,
Or fell in their profusion down
    Like bursting sheaves of gold.

Bright garments of a spirit bright,
    That even in the shroud
Were like the sunset’s aureate light
    Within a lifeless cloud.

When she, our angel of the sun,
    Had spread her wings in flight,
Ah, still would mournful memory sing
    Of her, our lost delight!

Child with full orbs of heaven-deep blue
    Illumined violet,
So richly gentle—touched with dew,
    Befringed with glossy jet.

When with the spring we saw depart
    Those eyes, those tresses curled,
Then summer dying in love’s heart,
    To winger left the world.

Ah, soul that wore the snowy brow,
    And gentle shining eyes,
Our song hath aye this burden now
    Beneath the vernal skies.

In vain the dews of heaven are shed
    Where blight hath been before;
So vainly weep we o’er the dead,
    But only weep the more.

Yet from the bright time of her birth
    And death, does faith construe
How, like the spring, though not on earth,
    Our joy shall bloom anew.

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