My Youth

A poem by Morris Rosenfeld

Come, beneath yon verdant branches,
Come, my own, with me!
Come, and there my soul will open
Secret doors to thee.
Yonder shalt thou learn the secrets
Deep within my breast,
Where my love upsprings eternal;
Come! with pain opprest,
Yonder all the truth I'll tell thee,
Tell it thee with tears...
(Ah, so long have we been parted,
Years of youth, sweet years!)

See'st thou the dancers floating
On a stream of sound?
There alone, the soul entrancing,
Happiness is found!
Magic music, hark! it calls us,
Ringing wild and sweet!
One, two, three!--beloved, haste thee,
Point thy dainty feet!
Now at last I feel that living
Is no foolish jest...
(O sweet years of youth departed,
Vanished with the rest!)

Fiddler, play a little longer!
Why this hurry, say?
I'm but half-way through a measure--
Yet a little play!
Smiling in her wreath of flowers
Is my love not fair?
See us in the charmed circle,
Flitting light as air!
Haste thee, loved one, for the music
Shall be hushed anon...
(O sweet years of youth departed,
Whither are ye gone?)

Gracious youth of mine, so quickly
Hath it come to this?
Lo, where flowed the golden river,
Yawns the black abyss!
Where, oh where is my beloved,
Where the wreath of flowers?
Where, oh where the merry fiddler,
Where those happy hours?
Shall I never hear the echoes
Of those songs again?
Oh, on what hills are they ringing,
O'er what sunny plain?
May not I from out the distance
Cast one backward glance
On that fair and lost existence,
Youth's sweet dalliance?
Foolish dreamer! Time hath snatched it,
And, tho' man implore,
Joys that he hath reaped and garnered
Bloom again no more!

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