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Bright as the visions of youth, ere they part,
Passing away, like a dream of the heart !-
Who—as the beautiful pageant sweeps by,
Music around her, and sunshine on high,-
Pauses to think, amid glitter and glow,
Oh! there be hearts that are breaking, below!
Night on the waves !—and the moon is on high,
Hung, like a geni, on the brow of the sky;
Treading its depths, in the power of her might,
And turning the clouds, as they pass her, to light!
Look to the waters !—asleep on their breast,
Seems not the ship like an island of rest ?
Bright and alone on the shadowy main,
Like a beart-cherished home on some desolate plain !
Who-as she smiles in the silvery light,
Spreading her wings on the bosom of night,
Alone on the deep,-as the moon in the sky,-
A phantom of beauty !—could deem, with a sigh,
That so lovely a thing is the mansion of sin,
And souls that are smitten lie bursting, within !
Who--as he watches her silently gliding,
Remembers that wave after wave is dividing
Bosoms that sorrow and guilt could not sever,
Hearts that are parted and broken for ever!
Or deems that he watches, afloat on the wave,
The death-bed of hope, or the young spirit's grave !
"Tis thus with our life, while it passes along,
Like a vessel at sea, amid sunshine and song !
Gaily we glide, in the gaze of the world,
With streamers afloat, and with canvass unfurled ;
All gladness and glory to wandering eyes,
Yet chartered by sorrow, and freighted with sighs ! -
Fading and false is the aspect it wears,
As the smiles we put on—just to cover our tears ;
And the withering thoughts which the world cannot know,
Like heart-broken exiles, lie burning below;
While the vessel drives on to that desolate shore
Where the dreams of our childhood are vanished and o’er!
Mine eyes--that may not see thee smile,
Are glad to see thee weep;
Thy spirit's calm, this weary while,
Has been too dark and deep !
Alas! for him who has but tears,
To mark his path of pain,
But oh! his long and lonely years,
Who may not weep again !
Thou know'st, young mourner! thou hast been
Through good and ill, to me,
Amid a bleak and blighted scene,
A single leafy tree :
A star within a stormy sky;
An island on the main ;
And I have prayed, in agony,
To see thee weep again!
Thou, ever, wert a thing of tears,
When but a playful child,
A very sport of hopes and fears,
And both too warm and wild !
Thy lightest thoughts and wishes wore
Too passionate a strain ;-
To such how often comes an hour,
They never weep again!
Thou wert of those whose very morn
Gives some dark hint of night,
And, in thine eye, too soon was born
A sad and softened light;
And on thy brow youth set the seal
Which years, upon thy brain,
Confirmed too well,--and they who feel
May scarcely weep again!
Yet, once again, within thine eye,
I see the waters start,
The fountains cannot all be dry
Within so young a heart !
Our love, which clouds have wrapt awhile,
Thirsts for the spirit's rain,
And I shall yet behold thee smile,
Since thou hast wept again!