Death gazed on her charms with his pale greedy eyes,
‡‡Tho’ thousands were marching before her;
As seizing the hand of his beautiful prize,
‡‡From the arms of the Bridegroom he tore her.
Hell follow’d close in the footsteps of Death,
‡‡For the precious immortal within her;
With fury he grasp’d when she sigh’d her last breath,
‡‡As it were for some perishing sinner.
But a bright band of Seraphin swift from the sky
‡‡Was there in full time to relieve her;
The fiend started back as they fronted his eye,
‡‡And he fled as they came to receive her.
Fell murderer begone! for a Saviour hath died,
‡‡They exclaim’d—the forlorn are defended;
And she bath’d in the fountain that flows from his side,
‡‡While the day of his grace was extended.
Her Judge is her Counsellor — who shall accuse!
‡‡Her Saviour, her great Mediator,
Hath purchased her life with his own; — and his dues
‡‡He now claims of her Sovereign Creator.
Then rapid as thought they enrobed her in bright
‡‡Flowing vestments of heavenly splendor:
Her charms are renewed, and shine pure as the light,
‡‡While a concert of angels attend her.
Then, to Death they replied: — Thou hast fail’d of thine aim:
‡‡‘Tis but clay thou hast gotten beside thee:
And the day draweth nigh when thy charnel-house game
‡‡Will spurn at thy rule and deride thee.
For the trumpet of Gabriel shall waken the dead
‡‡When the journey of time is completed:
Then where is thy sting?—all its venom is fled,
‡‡And the malice of hell is defeated.
The body that forms thy proud revel to day
‡‡Shall be fill’d with yon Seraph to-morrow;
And glory immortal shall crown the poor clay
‡‡That was once a frail mansion of sorrow.
Port Talbot, 12th June, 1826
Source: Adam Hood Burwell. “New” Poems of Adam Hood Burwell. ed. & introduced by Mary Lu MacDonald. retrieved from canadianpoetry.org/volumes/vol18/macdonald.html
Erieus was the pen name of Adam Hood Burwell