And wilt thou, faithless one, then,
With all thy magic phantasy,-
With all the thoughts that joy or grieve me,
Wilt thou with all forever fly?
Can naught delay thine onward motion,
Thou golden time of lifes young dream?
In vain! eternitys wide ocean
Ceaselessly drowns thy rolling stream.
The glorious suns my youth enchanting
Have set in never-ending night;
Those blest ideals now are wanting
That swelled my heart with mad delight.
The offspring of my dream hath perished,
My faith in being passed away;
The godlike hopes that once I cherish
Are now realitys sad prey.
As once Pygmalion, fondly yearning,
Embraced the statue formed by him,
Till the cold marbles cheeks were burning,
And life diffused through every limb,
So I, with youthful passion fired,
My longing arms round Nature threw,
Till, clinging to my breast inspired,
She gan to breathe, to kindle too.
And all my fiery ardor proving,
Though mute, her tale she soon could tell,
Returned each kiss I gave her loving,
The throbbings of my heart read well.
Then living seemed each tree, each flower,
Then sweetly sang the waterfall,
And een the soulless in that hour
Shared in the heavenly bliss of all.
For then a circling world was bursting
My bosoms narrow prison-cell,
To enter into being thirsting,
In deed, word, shape, and sound as well.
This world, how wondrous great I deemed it,
Ere yet its blossoms could unfold!
When open, oh, how little seemed it!
That little, oh, how mean and cold!
How happy, winged by courage daring,
The youth lifes mazy path first pressed-
No care his manly strength impairing,
And in his dreams sweet vision blest!
The dimmest star in airs dominion
Seemed not too distant for his flight;
His young and ever-eager pinion
Soared far beyond all mortal sight.
Thus joyously toward heaven ascending,
Was aught for his bright hopes too far?
The airy guides his steps attending,
How danced they round lifes radiant car!
Soft love was there, her guerdon bearing,
And fortune, with her crown of gold,
And fame, her starry chaplet wearing,
And truth, in majesty untold.
But while the goal was yet before
The faithless guides began to stray;
Impatience of their task came oer them,
Then one by one they dropped away.
Light-footed Fortune first retreating,
Then Wisdoms thirst remained unstilled,
While heavy storms of doubt were beating
Upon the path truths radiance filled.
I saw Fames sacred wreath
The brows of an unworthy crew;
And, ah! how soon Loves happy morning,
When spring had vanished, vanished too!
More silent yet, and yet more weary,
Became the desert path I trod;
And even hope a glimmer dreary
Scarce cast upon the gloomy road.
Of all that train, so bright with
Oh, who is faithful to the end?
Who now will seek to cheer my sadness,
And to the grave my steps attend?
Thou, Friendship, of all guides the fairest,
Who gently healest every wound;
Who all lifes heavy burdens sharest,
Thou, whom I early sought and found!
Employment too, thy loving neighbor,
Who quells the bosoms rising storms;
Who neer grows weary of her labor,
And neer destroys, though slow she forms;
Who, though but grains of sand she places
To swell eternity sublime,
Yet minutes, days, ay! years effaces
From the dread reckoning kept by Time!