I’ve had the heart-ache many times,
At the mere mention of a name
I’ve never woven in my rhymes,
Though from it inspiration came.
It is in truth a holy thing,
Life-cherished from the world apart–
A dove that never tries its wing,
But broods and nestles in the heart.
That name of melody recalls
Her gentle look and winning ways
Whose portrait hangs on memory’s walls,
In the fond light of other days.
In the dream-land of Poetry,
Reclining in its leafy bowers,
Her bright eyes in the stars I see,
And her sweet semblance in the flowers.
Her artless dalliance and grace–
The joy that lighted up her brow–
The sweet expression of her face–
Her form–it stands before me now!
And I can fancy that I hear
The woodland songs she used to sing,
Which stole to my attending ear,
Like the first harbingers of spring.
The beauty of the earth was hers,
And hers the purity of heaven;
Alone, of all her worshippers,
To me her maiden vows were given.
They little know the human heart,
Who think such love with time expires;
Once kindled, it will ne’er depart,
But burn through life with all its fires.
We parted–doomed no more to meet–
The blow fell with a stunning power–
And yet my pulse will strangely beat
At the remembrance of that hour!
But time and change their healing brought,
And years have passed in seeming glee,
But still alone of her I’ve thought
Who’s now a memory to me.
There may be many who will deem
This strain a wayward, youthful folly,
To be derided as a dream
Born of the poet’s melancholy.
The wealth of worlds, if it were mine,
With all that follows in its train,
I would with gratitude resign,
To dream that dream of love again.