The cymbal tinkles, and the drum beats loud,
As if in mockery of the solemn scene
And her who shall be something that had been.
O! this is but the world's unfeeling way
To goad the victim that it soon will slay,
And like a demon 'tis its custom still
To laugh at sorrow, and then coldly kill.
Yet dreaming sophists in this world there be
Who tell us man for man has sympathy,
Who say that tears arising out of pain
Soon see themselves reflected;—but 'tis vain—
Sure social love dwells not beneath the skies,
Or it is like the bird of paradise,
Which lights we know not where, and never can
Be found alive among the haunts of man.
Ye who in fancy's vision view the fires
Where the calm widow gloriously expires,
And, charmed, behold her ere she mounts the pile,
Her lip illumined by a radiant smile;
Her tearless eye disowning fear's control
Lit to reveal the heavenward soaring soul;
In hope exulting till life's hour be past,
With ardent faith, devoted to the last;
Fresh in the spotless loveliness of youth,
And all the native purity of truth;—
Ye who are lost in fancy's wondrous maze
At love you see not—O! could once you gaze
On those whom martyrs now you fondly deem!
'Twould break the magic of your golden dream
To see the beauteous but the purchased flower,
The toy that pleases but a passing hour,
The suffering victim to the altar driven,
And bid to hope for happiness in heaven--
A heaven beyond the limits of her thought,
A bliss her spirit never yet had sought—
Ah ! haply then might pity mourn above
Degraded nature, not exalted love!