On the Death of Two Infant Children [poem, 17 February 1842]

[Editor: Published in the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 17 February 1842.]

On the Death of Two Infant Children,

the Second and Youngest Sons of

A. C. Innis, Esq.,

of Lake Innis, Port Macquarie, Who Died a Few Days after Each Other.

They “were lovely and pleasant in their lives and in their Death they were not divided.” 2nd Sam. cap. 1st.

On one fair stem, two tender rosebuds grew,
Sweet was their fragrance, lovely was their hue;
The Parent stock, beheld with joyous pride,
Beauty unfolding softly, side by side;
Anxious it look’d for that eventful day,
When ripe in bloom their sweetness would display.
Hoping — yet trembling, lest some cruel blast
Should o’er those little tender buds be cast.
But well prepared, howe’er severe the rod,
To bow submissive, to the will of God.

They blossom’d on; but yet with all the care,
Lurking within, the canker worms were there.
Full soon, those tender buds, disease assailed;
Nor care nor skill nor tenderness prevail’d.
Death hurl’d his shaft (the mortal wound too sure,
For aid, or art, or skilfulness to cure,)
Amid ere the younger, withered in the tomb,
The elder droop’d, and blighted was its bloom.
Let not the Parent stock, their death repine,
But full of hope in piety resign;
For tho’ from earth, those fragrant flow’rs are driven,
They bloom immortal, with their God in Heaven.

Port Macquarie,}
11th February, 1842.}

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (Sydney, NSW), 17 February 1842, p. 4

Editor’s notes:
The quote at the start of the poem, “were lovely and pleasant in their lives and in their death they were not divided”, is from the Bible, 2 Samuel 1:23.

ere = before (from the Middle English “er”, itself from the Old English “aer”, meaning early or soon)

o’er = over (pronounced the same as “oar”, “or”, and “ore”)

repine = to express (or feel) discontent; to complain or grumble

skilfulness = an alternative spelling of “skillfulness”

Old spelling in the original text:
blossom’d (blossomed)
droop’d (drooped)
flow’rs (flowers)
howe’er (however)
hurl’d (hurled)
look’d (looked)
prevail’d (prevailed)

[Editor: Corrected “’ere the younger” to “ere the younger” (deleted the apostrophe).]

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