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I turn'd me to the Rich Man then,
For silently stood he,
You ask'd me why the Poor complain,
And these have answer'd thee !
MARYI ten chequer'd years have past
Since we beheld each other last;
Yet, Mary, I remember thee,
Nor canst thou have forgotten me.
The bloom was then upon thy face,
Thy form had every youthful grace ;
I too had then the warmth of youth,
And in our hearts was all its truth.
We conversed, were there others by,
With common mirth and random eye;
But when escaped the sight of men,
How serious was our converse then !
Our talk was then of years to come,
Of hopes which ask'd a humble doom,
Themes which to loving thoughts might move,
Although we never spake of love.
At our last meeting sure thy heart
Was even as loth as mine to part;
And yet we little thought that then
We parted ... not to meet again.
Long, Mary ! after that adieu,
My dearest day-dreams were of you ;
In sleep I saw you still, and long
the theme of secret song.
When manhood and its cares came on,
The humble hopes of youth were gone ;
And other hopes and other fears
Effaced the thoughts of happier years.
Meantime through many a varied year
Of thee no tidings did I hear,
And thou hast never heard my name
Save from the vague reports of fame.
But then I trust detraction's lie
Hath kindled anger in thine eye ;
And thou my praise wert proud to see,
My name should still be dear to thee.
Ten years have held their course ; thus late
I learn the tiding thy fate ;
A Husband and a Father now,
Of thee, a Wife and Mother thou.
And, Mary, as for thee I frame
A prayer which hath no selfish aim,
No happier lot can I wish thee
Than such as Heaven hath granted me.
INQUIRING IF I WOULD LIVE OVER MY YOUTH
Do I regret the past ?
Would I again live o'er
The morning hours of life?
nay, not so !
In the warm joyance of the summer sun
I do not wish again
The changeful April day.
Nay, William ! nay, not so !
Safe haven'd from the sea,
I would not tempt again
The uncertain ocean's wrath.
Praise be to Him who made me what I am,
Other I would not be.
Why is it pleasant then to sit and talk
Of days that are no more?
When in his own dear home
The traveller rests at last,
And tells how often in his wanderings
The thought of those far off
Hath made his eyes o'erflow
With no unmanly tears ;
Delighted he recalls Through what fair scenes his lingering feet have trod;
But ever when he tells of perils past
And troubles now no more,
eyes are brightest, and a readier joy
Flows thankful from his heart.
No, William I no, I would not live again
The morning hours of life;
I would not be again
The slave of hope and fear;
I would not learn again
The wisdom by Experience hardly taught.
To me the past presents
No object for regret;
To me the present gives
All cause for full content.
it is now the cheerful noon, And on the sunny-smiling fields I gaze
alive to joy;
When the dark night descends,
I willingly shall close my weary lids,
In sure and certain hope to wake again.