Few are the hearts too cold to feel
A thrill of gladness o’er them steal,
When first the wandering eye
Sees faintly, in the evening blaze,
That glimmering curve of tender rays
Just planted in the sky.
The sight of that young crescent brings
Thoughts of all fair and youthful things
The hopes of early years;
And childhood’s purity and grace,
And joys that like a rainbow chase
The passing shower of tears.
The captive yields him to the dream
Of freedom, when that virgin beam
Comes out upon the air:
And painfully the sick man tries
To fix his dim and burning eyes
On the soft promise there.
Most welcome to the lover’s sight,
Glitters that pure, emerging light;
For prattling poets say,
That sweetest is the lovers’ walk,
And tenderest is their murmured talk,
Beneath its gentle ray.
And there do graver men behold
A type of errors, loved of old,
Forsaken and forgiven;
And thoughts and wishes not of earth,
Just opening in their early birth,
Like that new light in heaven.
Ay, thou art welcome, heaven’s delicious breath,
When woods begin to wear the crimson leaf,
And suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief,
And the year smiles as it draws near its death.
Wind of the sunny south! oh still delay
In the gay woods and in the golden air,
Like to a good old age released from care,
Journeying, in long serenity, away.
In such a bright, late quiet, would that I
Might wear out life like thee, mid bowers and brooks,
And, dearer yet, the sunshine of kind looks,
And music of kind voices ever nigh;
And when my last sand twinkled in the glass,
Pass silently from men, as thou dost pass.
Where olive leaves were twinkling in every wind that
There sat beneath the pleasant shade a damsel of Peru.
Betwixt the slender boughs, as they opened to the air,
Came glimpses of her ivory neck and of her glossy hair;
And sweetly rang her silver voice, within that shady nook,
As from the shrubby glen is heard the sound of hidden brook.
’Tis a song of love and valour, in the noble
That once upon the sunny plains of old Castile was sung;
When, from their mountain holds, on the Moorish rout below,
Had rushed the Christians like a flood, and swept away the foe.
A while that melody is still, and then breaks forth anew
A wilder rhyme, a livelier note, of freedom and Peru.
For she has bound the sword to a youthful lover’s
And sent him to the war the day she should have been his bride,
And bade him bear a faithful heart to battle for the right,
And held the fountains of her eyes till he was out of sight.
Since the parting kiss was given, six weary months are fled,
And yet the foe is in the land, and blood must yet be shed.