Poem: "Lines To A Departed Son" by Daniel Webster

My son, thou wast my heart's delight,
 Thy morn of life was gay and cheery;
That morn has rushed to sudden night,
 Thy father's house is sad and dreary.

I held thee on my knee, my son
 And kissed thee laughing, kissed thee weeping;
But ah! thy little day is done,
 Thou'rt with my angel sister sleeping.

The staff on which my years should lean
 Is broken e'er those years come o'er me;
My funeral rites thou shouldst have seen,
 But thou art in the tomb before me.

Thou rear'st to me no filial stone,
 No parent's grave with tears beholdest;
Thou art my ancestor, my son!
 And stand'st in heaven's account the oldest.

On earth my lot was soonest cast,
 Thy generation after mine;
Thou hast thy predecessor past,
 Earlier eternity is thine.

I should have set before thine eyes
 The road to heaven, and showed it clear;
But thou untaught springest to the skies,
 And leavest thy teacher lingering here.

Sweet seraph, I would learn of thee,
 And hasten to partake thy bliss;
And O! to thy world welcome me,
 As first I welcomed thee to this.

Dear angel, thou art safe in heaven;
 No prayers for thee need more be made;
Oh! let thy prayers for those be given
 Who oft have blest thy infant head.

My Father! I beheld thee born,
 And led thy tottering steps with care;
Before me risen to heaven's bright morn,
 My son, my father, guide me there.

 –from book: “The Poets of New Hampshire

BIO:  Daniel Webster was born in Salisbury, New Hampshire, 18 January 1792. He graduated at Dartmouth College in 1801. He became a lawyer; was a member of Congress 1813-17, 1823-27; U.S. Senator 1827-39; 1845-50; Secretary of State U.S., 1841-42; 1850-52. He died in Marshfield, MA 24 October 1852. While at college he published two poems of considerable length. In 1825 he lost a son named Charles. On that occasion he composed a short poem which he enclosed in a letter to his wife. [As shown above].

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