A task so painful, yet so justly due
To thee, my dear, my much respected Brother,
Rightly devolves on me whose heart beats true
In Zion's cause; yet, would it were another!

But as it is, my Muse, though rude, shall sing-
Used as she is to such a mournful strain-
That I may cause true sympathy to spring
Ere long, for those who feel for thee most pain.

'Tis scarce a week since thou, in manhood's prime,
Of things quite dear to both hadst spoke with me!
'Tis now my lot to tell, in mournful rhyme,
How short a space there was 'twixt Death and thee.

Ere thou wert well aware the fatal dart
Met thee amongst thy fellows, shot by Death;
Ev'n now I feel that dread from friends to part
Methinks thou felt, though thou wast strong in faith.

O, that I could but paint in language strong,
Regarding truth, thy sufferings so severe;
Yes, then I'd sing, in pure and holy song,
Of Him whose presence cheered thee much while here.

'Fear not,' saith God, to all his people dear;
Just then thy heart responded, 'Fear ye not!'
O, what a precious truth our hearts to cheer!
How sure to reconcile us to our lot.

Now is the time to glorify our God,
Depending on His gracious arm to keep
Each footstep treading in the narrow road.
Nor let us murmur, though constrained to weep
The while o'er those who now in Jesus sleep.

More verses by Thomas Cowherd

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