my early hours went o’er:
Each scene and sound but gave delight;
Or if I grieved, ’twas like the shower,
That comes in sunshine, brief and bright.
My heart was like the summer lake,
A mirror in some valley found,
Whose depths a mimic world can make
More beautiful than that around.
The wood, the slope, the rocky dell,
To others dear, were dearer yet
To me; for they would fondly dwell
Mirrored in memory; and set
In the deep azure of my dreams
At night, how sweet they rose to view!
How soft the echo, and the streams,
How swift their laughing murmurs flew!
And when the vision broke at morn,
The music in my charmed ear,
As of some fairy’s lingering horn,—
My native hills, how soft, how dear!
my boyhood; ’twas a stream
Of frolic flow, ’mid Nature’s bowers;
A ray of light—a golden dream—
A morning fair—a path of flowers!
But now another charm came o’er me:
The ocean I had never seen;
Yet suddenly it rolled before me,
With all its crested waves of green!
Soft sunny islands, far and lone,
Where the shy petrel builds her nest;
Deep coral caves to mermaids known—
These were my visions bright and blest.
Oh! how I yearned to meet the tide,
And hear the bristling surges sweep;
To stand the watery world beside,
And ponder o’er the glorious deep!
I bade my home adieu, and bent
My eager footsteps toward the shore,
And soon my native hills were blent,
With the pale sky that arched them o’er.
Four days were passed, and now I stood
Upon a rock that walled the deep:
Before me rolled the boundless flood,
A glorious dreamer in its sleep.
’Twas summer morn, and bright as heaven;
And though I wept, I was not sad,
For tears, thou knowest, are often given
When the overflowing heart is glad.
Long, long I watched the waves, whose whirls
Leaped up the rocks, their brows to kiss,
And dallied with the sea-weed curls,
That stooped and met, as if in bliss.
Long, long I listened to the peal,
That whispered from the pebbly shore,
And like a spirit seemed to steal
In music to my bosom’s core.
And now I looked afar, and thought
The sea a glad and glorious thing;
And fancy to my bosom brought
Wild dreams upon her wizard wing—
Her wing that stretched o’er spreading waves,
And chased the far-off flashing ray,
Or hovering deep in twilight caves,
Caught the lone mermaid at her play.