My Native Isle.

A poem by Mary Gardiner Horsford

My native isle! my native isle!
For ever round thy sunny steep
The low waves curl, with sparkling foam,
And solemn murmurs deep;
While o'er the surging waters blue
The ceaseless breezes throng,
And in the grand old woods awake
An everlasting song.

The sordid strife and petty cares
That crowd the city's street,
The rush, the race, the storm of Life,
Upon thee never meet;
But quiet and contented hearts
Their daily tasks fulfil,
And meet with simple hope and trust
The coming good or ill.

The spireless church stands, plain and brown,
The winding road beside;
The green graves rise in silence near,
With moss-grown tablets wide;
And early on the Sabbath morn,
Along the flowery sod,
Unfettered souls, with humble prayer,
Go up to worship God.

And dearer far than sculptured fane
Is that gray church to me,
For in its shade my mother sleeps,
Beneath the willow-tree;
And often, when my heart is raised
By sermon and by song,
Her friendly smile appears to me
From the seraphic throng.

The sunset glow, the moonlit stream,
Part of my being are;
The fairy flowers that bloom and die,
The skies so clear and far:
The stars that circle Night's dark brow,
The winds and waters free,
Each with a lesson all its own,
Are monitors to me.

The systems in their endless march
Eternal truth proclaim;
The flowers God's love from day to day
In gentlest accents name;
The skies for burdened hearts and faint
A code of Faith prepare;
What tempest ever left the Heaven
Without a blue spot there?

My native isle! my native isle!
In sunnier climes I've strayed,
But better love thy pebbled beach
And lonely forest glade,
Where low winds stir with fragrant breath
The purple violet's head,
And the star-grass in the early Spring
Peeps from the sear leaf's bed.

I would no more of strife and tears
Might on thee ever meet,
But when against the tide of years
This heart has ceased to beat,
Where the green weeping-willows bend
I fain would go to rest,
Where waters chant, and winds may sweep
Above my peaceful breast.

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