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TO A WELSH AIR, “ AR HYD Y NOS.
Old I am, yet not past feeling,
Maiden think not so ;
Time, the thief, for ever stealing
Moments as they go.
Still the moment dear has left me,
Moment that of self bereft me,
Moment that did wound with healing,
Cause and cure of woe.
Hope, and yet not hope, it gave me
Oh! that lovely smile-
Hope, alas ! too brief to save me,
Yet 'twas sweet the while,
Bright as joy, and sweet as pity,
Little like thyself, and pretty,
Nought beside can now enslave me,
Nothing else beguile
Old I am and daily older,
Not in days alone,
Yet, methinks, that I am bolder
Since that grey I'm grown ;
Young, I had not dared address thee,
Old, I may presume to bless thee,
Hope is dead and fancies moulder,
All but Love is flown.
Smile again. The look that gazes,
Asks not, wants not, no ; Laugh at me and all my praises,
Laugh at all my woe. But when I have done with sighing, In the quiet churchyard lying, Softly smile upon the daisies
On my grave that grow.
ON SEEING THREE YOUNG LADIES ON
WITHIN the compass of a little vale
There lies a Lake unknown in Fairy tale,
Which not a Poet knew in ancient days,
When all the world believed in Ghosts and Fays ;
Yet on that Lake I have beheld a Boat
That seemed a fairy Pinnace all afloat,
On some bless'd mission to a distant isle,
To do meet worship to some ruined pile,
Where long of yore the Fairies used to meet
And haply hallow with their last retreat ;
For all alone the boat was on the waters,
And in it three of “ Beauty's youngest daughters.”
Sometimes at rest, like infant on a pillow,
Then gliding soft as light upon a billow,
When lady's hand drew nigh to lady's breast
The oar, so fond :—yet there it might not rest,
But thence dispatched, went forth like errant knight
For new achievement on the plain so bright.
Oh! when it stopped, the boat, and damsels three
Charming the calm air with their triple glee,
While all the shadows on the lake projected,
Moved little as the mountains they reflected;
It seemed a thing ordained for aye to stay
Just where it was and sleep from day to day.
And when it moved with slide and gentle stroke,
Rippling the shadow of the hanging oak,
Sole motion, only life on all the mere,
'Twas like the motion of the lapsing year,
Which none would more expect or wish to cease
Than his own pulse.
The fancy of old Greece
That gave to beauty and to loveliness
The definite outline and the shape express,
Could not conceive, and therefore could not make,
Aught so divine as that still evening Lake,
With shadow deep, with gold and purple glowing,
And those three lovely maids upon its bosom rowing.
WRITTEN ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF A WEDDING DAY.
The earth once more hath run its annual round,
And smiles as faintly at the paling sun As when by holy rite ye twain were bound,
And a glad brother's voice proclaimed ye one ;
One in the Lord, as one in heart and choice,
For ye alike had chosen the better way, And therefore will with holy glee rejoice,
When Autumn grave brings back the wedding-day.
All hath not haply been as young conceit
Of wedded bliss the story would compose, But have ye found the song of love less sweet
Because translated into household prose ?
Duties there needs must be, and toils, and cares,
And there may be some salutary pains, That unexpected come and unawares
To all that walk in wedlock’s lightest chains.