Sweet summer flowers were braided in her hair,
As if in mockery of the burning brow
Round which they drooped and withered—singing now
Strains of wild mirth, and now of vain despair,
Came the poor wreck of all that once was fair,
And rich in high endowments, ere deep woe
Like a dark cloud came o'er her, and laid low
Reason's proud fane, and left no brightness there.
Yet you might deem that grief was with the rest
Of all her cares forgotten, save when songs
And tales she heard of faithful love unblessed,
Of man's deceit, and trusting maiden's wrongs.
Then, and then only, in her lifted eyes,
Remembrance beamed, and tears would slowly rise.
I saw an infant—health, and joy, and light
Bloomed on its cheek and sparkled in its eye;
And its fond mother stood delighted by,
To see its morn of being dawn so bright.
Again I saw it, when the withering blight
Of pale disease had fallen, moaning lie
On that sad mother's breast—stern Death was nigh,
And Life's young wings were fluttering for their flight.
Last, I beheld it stretched upon the bier,
Like a fair flower untimely snatched away,
Calm and unconscious of its mother's tear,
Which on its placid cheek unheeded lay;
But on its lip the unearthly smile expressed,
“Oh! happy child! untried and early blessed!”
Frederick Tennyson assisted his brothers, Charles and Alfred, with the publi-
cation of their Poems by Two Brothers by silently contributing three or four
poems. He wrote in both Greek and English, and his poetry reveals an inter-
est in classical subjects. Days and Hours (1854) was well received by some, but
others unfairly compared his work to that of his more famous brother. He
had an interest in spiritualism and the paranormal and was a friend of Robert
and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.