The Dying Lamp

By Hannah Flagg Gould

Poor Dying Lamp! thou now art low and pale;
Thine oil of life is out, thy purpose o’er;
And thou art fainting, utterly to fail;
In a few moments thou must be no more!

The morning star has risen, and the dawn
Hastens to chase the scattering shades away.
They and thy feeble flame will soon be gone,
And both forgotten in the glorious day.

Well—thou hast done a kindly work to-night,
And freely worn thyself away to shed
Through the dark, silent chamber thy soft light,
And show the watcher to the sick one’s bed.

A mild, bright minister of good to man,
Wasting thyself for others, thou hast been,
Since with the evening thy short life began,
Till o’er the world the light of heaven pours in.

But now thou art not needed thus to cast
Thy beams around to cheer the wakeful eye;
Since darkness with its solemn reign is past,
Before the morning calmly dost thou die.

Like thee, may she, who marked thy steady ray
Through the hushed night, and then thy quick decline,
Yield, while she treads life’s short and shadowy way,
Some cheering light, with purpose pure as thine!

Then, when her work is finished—when her worth
To others in their dark, sad hours shall cease,
Not to survive it, may she pass from earth,
And like her dying lamp go out in peace!

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