When Time a mellowing tint has thrown
O'er many a scene to mem'ry dear.
It scatters round a charm, unknown
When first th' impression rested there.
But, oh! should distance intervene,
Should Ocean's wave, should changeful clime.
Divide - how sweeter far the scene!
How richer ev'ry tint of time!
E'en thus with those (a treasur'd few)
Who gladden'd life with many a smile,
Tho' long has pass'd the sad adieu,
In thought we love to dwell awhile.
Then with keen eye, and beating heart,
The anxious mind still seeks relief
From those who can the tale impart,
How pass their day, in joy or grief.
If haply health and fortune bless,
We feel as if on us they shone;
If sickness and if sorrow press,
Then feeling makes their woes our own.
'Twas thus of Mira oft I thought,
Oft dwelt upon the scenes she grac'd:
Her form in beauty's mould was wrought,
Her mind the seat of sense and taste.
Long, hov'ring o'er her fleeting breath,
Love kept his watch in silent gloom;
He saw her meekly yield to Death,
And knelt a mourner at her tomb.
When the night-breeze shall softly blow,
When the bright moon upon the flood
Shall spread her beams (a silv'ry show),
And dark be many a waving wood, -
When, dimly[A] seen, in robes of white,
A mournful train along the grove
Shall bear the lamp of sacred light,
To deck the turf of those they love, -
Then shall the wood-dove quit its bow'r,
And seek the spot were she is laid;
Its wild and mournful notes shall pour
A requiem to her hallow'd shade.
And Friendship oft shall raise the veil
Time shall have drawn o'er pleasures past,
And Fancy shall repeat the tale
Of happy hours, too sweet to last!
But when she mourns o'er Mira's bier,
And when the fond illusion ends,
Oh! then shall fall the genuine tear
That drops for dear departed friends!