'Twas early day - and sunlight stream'd
Soft through a quiet room,
That hush'd, but not forsaken, seem'd -
Still, but with nought but gloom;
For there, secure in happy age,
Whose hope is from above,
A father communed with the page
Of Heaven's recorded love.

Pure fell the beam, and meekly bright
On his gray holy hair,
And touch'd the book with tenderest light
As if its shrine were there;
But oh! that patriarch's aspect shone
With something lovelier far -
A radiance all the spirits own,
Caught not from the sun or star.

Some word of life e'en then had met
His calm benignant eye;
Some ancient promise breathing yet
Of immortality;
Some heart's deep language where the glow
Of quenchless faith survives;
For every feature said 'I know
That my Redeemer lives.'

And silent stood his children by,
Hushing their very breath
Before this solemn sanctity
Of thoughts o'ersweeping death;
Silent - yet did not each young breast,
With love and rev'rence melt?
Oh! blest be those fair girls - and blest
That home where God is felt!

More verses by Felicia Dorothea Hemans

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