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New Zealand Minstrelsy

Mr. T—’s Dirge to the Memory of W. Cook, Drowned April 10, 1847

“New Zealand Minstrelsy”: Page 27.

Mr. T—’s Dirge to the Memory of W. Cook, Drowned April 10, 1847.

Awake! to a measure, my lute, to give pleasure
To my aching heart, while a loss I deplore;
All comfort refusing, I long have been musing,
The fate of my friend, whom I’ll never see more.
To tell all my sorrow, what words could I borrow?
With patience enduring, like Job, all his woes,
Silence ill befriending, my bosom near rending
With grief;—now let friendship my passion disclose.

Oh! day doom’d to sorrow, all feelings to harrow
With worst of misfortunes that e’er could befall;—
How blind we ’re by nature regarding the future,
Till met by our fates, and o’ercome past recall!
page 28“New Zealand Minstrelsy”: Page 28. So he, quite a stranger to rashness and danger,
On duty embarked in his skiff on the wave;—
His journey defeated, for e’er half completed,
He met his destruction, with none near to save.

Oh! friendship departed, I feel quite deserted,
I sigh when I think on our pleasures enjoy’d,
In music uniting, sweet converse exciting,—
Now gone like a dream, and, aye me! what a void.
Around me all nature, how altered each feature,
Its beauties as blasted to me are become;—
He’s torn from my bosom in manhood’s fresh blossom,
By death unexpected, and called to his home.

How fleeting the pleasure! how short is the measure!
Of earthly enjoyments, by Heaven’s decree:—
Though felt most severely, regretted sincerely,
His fate be by others, ’tis still more by me.
Farewell our enjoyment, sweet friendship’s employment,
How harsh to my ear has all music become!—
But why should it grieve me, if thus, to relieve thee
From sorrows, thou’rt called to a bright happy home.

But now I feel lonely and pensive, when only
The hour of our meeting comes daily around;
Thy footsteps when nearing, no more meets my hearing,
Nor thy welcomed presence beside me is found.
Still fancy would cheer me, and whisper thou’rt near me,
While fondly rememb’ring thy virtues with love;—
But why I ’m so earthy? for truly thou’rt worthy
Those far better meetings thou’rt called to above.