Reply Of The Messenger Bird.

A poem by Eliza Paul Kirkbride Gurney

Thou art come from the spirits' land, thou bird!
Thou art come from the spirits' land:
Through the dark pine grove let thy voice be heard,
And tell of the shadowy band!

* * * * *

But tell us, thou bird of the solemn strain,
Can those who have loved, forget?
We call and they answer not again
Do they love, do they love us yet?


Yes! yes, I have come from the spirits' land,
From the land that is bright and fair,
I come with a voice from the shadowy band,
To tell that they love you there!

To say, if a wish or a fond regret
Could live in Elysian bowers,
'Twould be for the friends they could ne'er forget,
The loved of their youthful hours;

To whisper the dear deserted band,
Who smiled on their tarriance here,
That a faithful guard in the dreamless land
Are the friends they have loved so dear.

They have gone to be seen of men no more;
But oft on a shadowy hill,
Or the crest of a wave where the moonbeams pour,
They are watching around you still.

And oft on a fleecy cloud they sail,
And oft on the hurrying blast,
When slumber her light and magic veil
O'er man and his woes has cast.

'Tis true, in the silent night you call,
And they answer you not again
For the spirits of bliss are voiceless all;
Sound only was made for pain.

That their land is bright and they weep no more,
I have warbled from hill to hill,
But my plaintive strains should have told before,
They love, oh! they love you still.

They bid me say that unfading flowers
You'll find in the path they trod,
And a welcome true to their deathless bowers
Pronounced by the voice of God.

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