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By the wayside, on a mossy stone,
Sat a hoary pilgrim, sadly musing;
Coat as ancient as the form 't was folding;
There he sat !
(Missolonghi, January 23, 1824. On this day I completed my thirty-sixth year.]
'T is time this heart should be unmoved,
Still let me love.
My days are in the yellow leaf,
Seemed it pitiful he should sit there, The tiowers and fruits of love are gone,
No one sympathizing, no one heeding, The worm, the canker, and the grief, None to love him for his thin gray hair, Are mine alone.
And the furrows all so mutely pleading
Age and care :
Seemed it pitiful he should sit there.
It was summer, and we went to school,
Dapper country lads and little maidens;
Taught the motto of the “ Dunce's Stool," The hope, the fear, the jealous care,
Its grave import still my fancy ladens, The exalted portion of the pain
“ Here's a fool!” And power of love, I cannot share,
It was summer, and we went to school.
When the stranger seemed to mark our play, But 't is not here, - it is not here,
Some of us were joyous, some sad-hearted,
Oftentimes the tears unbidden started
Would not stay
When the stranger seemed to mark our play. The sword, the banner, and the field, Glory and Greece about us see ;
One sweet spirit broke the silent spell, The Spartan borne upon his shield
0, to me her name was always Heaven ! Was not more free.
She besought him all his grief to tell,
(I was then thirteen, and she eleven,) Awake! not Greece, she is awake!
One sweet spirit broke the silent spell.
“Angel," said, he sadly, “I am old ; Tread those reviving passions down,
Earthly hope no longer hath a morrow;
Yet, why I sit here thou shalt be told." Unworthy manhood ! unto thee,
Then his eye betrayed a pearl of sorrow, Indifferent should the smile or frown
Down it rolled !
“Angel," said he sadly, “I am old. If thou regrett'st thy youth, — why live ?
“I have tottered here to look once more The land of honorable death
On the pleasant scene where I delighted Is here, - up to the field, and give
In the careless, happy days of yore,
Ere the garden of my heart was blighted Seek out — less often sought than found
To the core :
I have tottered here to look once more.
"All the picture now to me how dear !
E’en this gray old rock where I am seated,
Is a jewel worth my journey here ;
“Yon white spire, a pencil on the sky, Ah that such a scene must be completed Tracing silently life's changeful story, With a tear !
So familiar to my dim old eye, All the picture now to me how dear !
Points me to seven that are now in glory
There on high! "Old stone school-house! it is still the same ; Yon white spire, a pencil on the sky.
There's the very step I so oft mounted ; There's the window creaking in its frame,
“Oft the aisle of that old church we trod, And the notches that I cut and counted Guided thither by an angel mother; For the game.
Now she sleeps beneath its sacred sod ; Old stone school-house, it is still the same. Sire and sisters, and my little brother,
Gone to God ! “In the cottage yonder I was born ;
Oft the aisle of that old church we trod.
“ There I heard of Wisdom's pleasant ways; There the spring with limpid nectar swelling ;
Bless the holy lesson ! -- but, ah, never
Shall I hear again those songs of praise,
Those sweet voices silent now forever!
Peaceful days! “Those two gateway sycamores you see
There I heard of Wisdom's pleasant ways.
“There my Mary blest me with her hand And the wagon to pass safely under ;
When our souls drank in the nuptial blessing, Ninety-three !
Ere she hastened to the spirit-land, Those two gateway sycamores you see.
Yonder turf her gentle bosom pressing ;
Broken band ! “There's the orchard where we used to climb There my Mary blest me with her hand.
When my mates and I were boys together, Thinking nothing of the flight of time,
“I have come to see that grave once more, Fearing naught but work and rainy weather ; And the sacred place where we delighted, Past its prime !
Where we worshipped, in the days of yore, There's the orchard where we used to climb. Ere the garden of my heart was blighted
To the core !
Round the pasture where the flocks were grazing,
Now, why I sit here thou hast been told."
Down it rolled ! “There is the mill that ground our yellow grain ; “ Angel,” said he sadly, “I am old.”
Pond and river still serenely flowing; Cot there nestling in the shared lane,
By the wayside, on a mossy stone,
Sat the hoary pilgrim, sadly musing ;
Still I marked him sitting there alone,
All the landscape, like a page, perusing ;
Brook, and bridge, and barn, and old red stable;
THE OLD FAMILIAR FACES.
I HAVE had playmates, I have had companions, “I am fleeing, — all I loved have fled.
In my days of childhood, in myjoyfulschool-days; Yon green meadow was our place for playing ; All, all are gone, the old familiar faces. That old tree can tell of sweet things said When around it Jane and I were straying ; I have been laughing, I have been carousing, She is dead !
Drinking late, sitting late, with my bosom cronies; I am fleeing, -- all I loved have fled.
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.
I loved a Love once, fairest among women : Closed are her doors on me, I must not see her, All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.
I have a friend, a kinder friend has no man : Like an ingrate, I left my friend abruptly ; Left him, to inuse on the old familiar faces.
Ghost-like I paced round the haunts of my child
hood, Earth seemed a desert I was bound to traverse, Seeking to find the old familiar faces.
Friend of my bosom, thou more than a brother, Why wert not thou born in my father's dwell
ing? So might we talk of the old familiar faces.
How some they have died, and some they have
And some are taken from me ; all are departed ; All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.
THE BURIED FLOWER.
In the silence of my chamber,
When the night is still and deep, And the drowsy heave of ocean
Mutters in its charınéd sleep,
Oft I hear the angel voices
That have thrilled me long ago, Voices of my lost companions,
Lying deep beneath the snow.
Where are now the flowers we tended ?
Withered, broken, branch and stem ; Where are now the hopes we cherished ?
Scattered to the winds with them.
For ye, too, were flowers, ye dear ones !
Nursed in hope and reared in love, Looking fondly ever upward
To the clear blue heaven above;
Smiling on the sun that cheered us,
Rising lightly from the rain, Never folding up your freshness
Save to give it forth again.
Severed, were it severed only
By an idle thought of strife,
Not the broken chord of life!
O, I fling my spirit backward,
And I pass o'er years of pain ;
All the lost returns again.
Brighter, fairer far than living,
With no trace of woe or pain,
Shall I see thee once again,
By the light that never fadeth,
Underneath eternal skies,
WILLIAM EDMONSTOWNE AYTOUNE.
AFAR IN THE DESERT.
AFAR in the desert I love to ride,
0, 't is sad to lie and reckon
All the days of faded youth, All the vows that we believed in,
All the words we spoke in truth.
Afar in the desert I love to ride,