The poet sings his deathless songs, the sage his lore
The patriot tells his country’s wrongs, the chief his warlike feats;
Though far away may be their clay, and gone their earthly pride,
Each god-like mind in books enshrined still haunts my fireside!
Oh, let me glance a moment through the coming crowd
Their triumphs or their failures, their sunshine or their tears;
How poor or great may be my fate, I care not what betide,
So peace and love but hallow thee, my own fireside!
Still let me hold the vision close, and closer to
Still, still, in hopes elysian, let my spirit wing its flight;
Still let me dream, life’s shadowy stream may yield from out its tide,
A mind at rest, a tranquil breast, a quiet fireside!
Beautiful clime, where I’ve dwelt so long,
In mirth and music, in gladness and song!
Fairer than aught upon earth art thou—
Beautiful clime, must I leave thee now?
No more shall I join the circle bright
Of my sister nymphs, when they dance at night
In their grottos cool and their pearly halls,
When the glowworm hangs on the ivy walls!
No more shall I glide o’er the waters blue,
With a crimson shell for my light canoe,
Or a rose-leaf plucked from the neighbouring trees,
Piloted o’er by the flower-fed breeze!
Oh! must I leave those spicy gales,
Those purple hills and those flowery vales?
Where the earth is strewed with pansy and rose,
And the golden fruit of the orange grows!
Oh! must I leave this region fair,
For a world of toil and a life of care?
In its dreary paths how long must I roam,
Far away from my fairy home?
The song of birds and the hum of bees,
And the breath of flowers, are on the breeze;
The purple plum and the cone-like pear,
Drooping, hang in the rosy air!
The fountains scatter their pearly rain
On the thirsty flowers and the ripening grain;
The insects sport in the sunny beam,
And the golden fish in the laughing stream.
The Naiads dance by the river’s edge,
On the low, soft moss and the bending sedge;
Wood-nymphs and satyrs and graceful fawns
Sport in the woods, on the grassy lawns!
The slanting sunbeams tip with gold
The emerald leaves in the forests old—
But I must away from this fairy scene,
Those leafy woods and those valleys green!
20. Written in early youth.
With that pleasant smile thou wearest,
Thou art gazing on the fairest
Wonders of the earth and sea:
Do thou not, in all thy seeing,
Lose the mem’ry of one being
Who at home doth think of thee.
In the capital of nations,
Sun of all earth’s constellations,
Thou art roaming glad and free:
Do thou not, in all thy roving,
Lose the mem’ry of one loving
Heart at home that beats for thee.