Alas! the glorious sun, which
then was high,
Touching each common thing with rosy light,
Is darkly banished from the lowering sky—
And life’s dull onward pathway lies, in night.
Yes—I am changed—and
this gray gnarled form,
Its leaves all scattered by the rending blast,
Is but an image of my heart;—the storm—
The storm of life, doth make us such at last!
Farewell, old oak! I
leave thee to the wind,
And go to struggle with the chafing tide—
Soon to the dust thy form shall be resigned,
And I would sleep thy crumbling limbs beside.
Thy memory will pass; thy
Will weave no more its tissue o’er the sod;
And all thy leaves, ungathered in the glade,
Shall, by the reckless hoof of time, be trod.
My cherished hopes, like shadows
and like leaves,
Name, fame, and fortune—each shall pass away;
And all that castle-building fancy weaves,
Shall sleep, unthinking, as the drowsy clay.
But from thy root another
tree shall bloom—
With living leaves its tossing boughs shall rise;
And the winged spirit—bursting from the tomb,—
Oh, shall it spring to light beyond these skies?
To a Wild Violet, in March.
[Illustration: To a Wild Violet, in March]
My pretty flower,
How cam’st thou here?
Around thee all
Is sad and sere,—
The brown leaves tell
Of winter’s breath,
And all but thou
Of doom and death.
The naked forest
On yonder hill
The snow-wreath lies,
And all is bleak—
Then say, sweet flower,
Whence cam’st thou here
In such an hour?
No tree unfolds its timid
Chill pours the hill-side’s lurid flood—
The tuneless forest all is dumb—
Whence then, fair violet, didst thou come?
Spring hath not scattered
yet her flowers,
But lingers still in southern bowers;
No gardener’s art hath cherished thee,
For wild and lone thou springest free.
Thou springest here to man
Waked into life by God alone!
Sweet flower—thou tellest well thy birth,—
Thou cam’st from Heaven, though soiled in earth!
As down life’s morning
stream we glide,
Full oft some Flower stoops o’er its side,
And beckons to the smiling shore,
Where roses strew the landscape o’er:
Yet as we reach that Flower to clasp,
It seems to mock the cheated grasp,
And whisper soft, with siren glee,
“My bloom is not—oh not for thee!”