How few, of all the hearts that loved,
Are grieving for thee now;
And why should mine to—night be moved
With such a sense of woe?
Too often thus, when left alone,
Where none my thoughts can see,
Comes back a word, a passing tone
From thy strange history.
Sometimes I seem to see thee rise,
A glorious child again;
All virtues beaming from thine eyes
That ever honoured men:
Courage and truth, a generous breast
Where sinless sunshine lay:
A being whose very presence blest
Like gladsome summer—day.
O, fairly spread thy early sail,
And fresh, and pure, and free,
Was the first impulse of the gale
Which urged life’s wave for thee!
Why did the pilot, too confiding,
Dream o’er that ocean’s foam,
And trust in Pleasure’s careless guiding
To bring his vessel home?
For well he knew what dangers frowned,
What mists would gather, dim;
What rocks and shelves, and sands lay round
Between his port and him.
The very brightness of the sun
The splendour of the main,
The wind which bore him wildly on
Should not have warned in vain.
An anxious gazer from the shore—
I marked the whitening wave,
And wept above thy fate the more
Because—I could not save.
It recks not now, when all is over:
But yet my heart will be
A mourner still, though friend and lover
Have both forgotten thee!