Illusions.

A poem by Samuel Griswold Goodrich

I.

As down life's morning stream we glide,
Full oft some Flower stoops o'er its side,
And beckons to the smiling shore,
Where roses strew the landscape o'er:
Yet as we reach that Flower to clasp,
It seems to mock the cheated grasp,
And whisper soft, with siren glee,
"My bloom is not oh not for thee!"


II.

Within Youth's flowery vale I tread,
By some entrancing shadow led
And Echo to my call replies
Yet, as she answers, lo, she flies!
And, as I seem to reach her cell
The grotto, where she weaves her spell
The Nymph's sweet voice afar I hear
So Love departs, as we draw near!


III.

Upon a mountain's dizzy height,
Ambition's temple gleams with light:
Proud forms are moving fair within,
And bid us strive that light to win.
O'er giddy cliff and crag we strain,
And reach the mountain top in vain!
For lo! the temple, still afar,
Shines cold and distant as a star.


IV.

I hear a voice, whose accents dear
Melt, like soft music, in mine ear.
A gentle hand, that seems divine,
Is warmly, fondly clasped in mine;
And lips upon my cheeks are pressed,
That whisper tones from regions blest:
But soon I start for friendship's kiss
Is gone, and lo! a serpent's hiss.


V.

The sun goes down, and shadows rest
On the gay scenes by morning blest;
The gathering clouds invest the air
Yet one bright constant Star is there.
Onward we press, with heavy load,
O'er tangled path and rough'ning road,
For still that Star shines bright before;
But now it sinks, and all is o'er!

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