Anything manuscript or autograph related to Robert Murray M'Cheyne [1813-1843] is exceptionally rare. We have handled I believe two autographs and no documents in the last 25 years.
The present is a complete autograph [or holograph in the author's hand] of his 1833 poem, here accompanied by a small historical note not present when the poem was published as a part of the Memoir and Remains of Robert Murray M'Cheyne.
“WE ALL DO FADE AS A LEAF.
So dying-like and frail,
That every bitter gale
Of winter seemed to blow
Only to lay her low!
She lived to show how He,
Who stills the stormy sea,
Can overrule the winter’s power,
And keep alive the tiniest flower—
Can bear the young lamb in his arms
And shelter it from death’s alarms.
When spring, with brightest flowers,
Was fresh’ning all the bowers.
The linnet sung her choicest lay,
When her sweet voice was hush’d for aye
The snowdrop rose above the ground
When she beneath her pillow found,
Both cold, and white, and fair,—
She, fairest of the fair,
She died to teach us all
The loveliest must fall.
A curse is written on the brow
Of beauty; and the lover’s vow
Cannot retain the flitting breath,
Nor save from all-devouring death.
The spirit left the earth;
And he who gave her birth
Has called her to his dread abode,
To meet her Saviour and her God.
She lives, to tell how blest
Is the everlasting rest
Of those who, in the Lamb’s blood laved,
Are chosen, sanctified, and saved!
How fearful is their doom
Who drop into the tomb
Without a covert from the ire
Of Him who is consuming fire!
SHE SHALL LIVE—
The grave shall yield his prize,
When, from the rending skies,
Christ shall with shouting angels come
To wake the slumberers of the tomb
And many more shall rise
Before our longing eyes.
Oh! may we all together meet,
Embracing the Redeemer’s feet!
J.B. died in London
17 April, 1833"
Lovely framed with an engraving of M'Cheyne or an engraving and a print example of the poem; rear has mounting remains as shown which could be treated or left intact as the front will be displayed if framed and matted.