[From Mona's Isle, 1844]


ALAS ! my fond Muse, how camest thou to linger
So long ‘neath the shadow of Time’s fleeting wing,
Ere thou drew o’er thy lyre thy magical finger,
Or gently reverb’rated memory’s string?

For now the old aspen-tree towers no longer
O’er th’ old flaxen mill, or the clear gliding stream,
Tho’ my wish to have saved it could not have been stronger,
To remind me once more of my childhood’s lost dream.

Should Fate e’er command me again to revisit
That spot which still lingers on memory’s view,
What will be my feelings when doom’d thus to miss it,
And perhaps find a sapling sprung up in its lieu—

And the green fertile bank, which so long it had shaded
From the summer’s noon rays, unshelter’d and bare,
And those cowslips and daisies, all wither’d and faded
Which grew ‘neath its shadow so blooming and fair!

Farewell to the tree and its beauty for ever,
No more ‘neath its shade shall my fancy rove free,
For the saw, or the axe, from the bank of the river
Hath sever’d the grasp of the old aspen-tree!


The fate of the aspen but too much resembles
The flourish of man in this world from his birth,
Awhile in the pride of his station he lingers,
Death strikes, and his glory is hurl’d to the earth!


Back index next

Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2000