And thou hast left this dear old spot,
And I alone must linger here,
Each day to seek and find thee not
Who made its every corner dear.
The winds will blow, the leaves will fall
And soon will come cold winter’s ray,
And none will answer to my call –
For thou, sweet friend, art far away.
Oh, when I view at closing day
The hills and paths where thou hast me
And feel that thou art far away,
How fondly will those scenes be loved.
No airs will blow, no birds will sing,
Nor wave our stately forest tree,
That will not to my memory bring
Some vanished thought of love and thee
The flowers that twined thy valley house
Like other dearer things and fair,
While summer breezes game them blow
Now are no longer there!
For them resounds no human wail
Through all the garden pathways long
Only the wandering Autumn gale
Seems conscious of a something gone.
The soft south wind will lull again
The bosom of the wintry sea:
And blithe once more will yonder plain
With Spring’s loved blossoms be:
But flowers may come, and flowers may go
As they have some and gone before:
Form north or south the wind may blow –
It cannot what is lost restore!
And yet I will remember thee
And thine in many a lonely hour,
When meditation’s wings may be
Least hindered by an earthly power:
And mine ‘twill be, when none are nigh,
To bend the knee and breathe the prays
That, wheresoe’er they path may lie,
God’s blessing may attend thee there.
And now farewell to idle moan –
Thy memory were little worth,
Unless it lured from blessings gone
To higher aims and hopes than earth.
The flowers remind us of the sky –
All that is beautiful is given
To tell us what on earth must die,
Will bloom to die on more in Heaven.