Yet, even here, tho' Fiction rules the hour,
There shine some genuine smiles, beyond her power;
And there are tears, too--tears that Memory sheds
Even o'er the feast that mimic fancy spreads,
When her heart misses one lamented guest,
Whose eye so long threw light o'er all the rest!
There, there, indeed, the Muse forgets her task,
And drooping weeps behind Thalia's mask.
Forgive this gloom--forgive this joyless strain,
Too sad to welcome pleasure's smiling train.
But, meeting thus, our hearts will part the lighter,
As mist at dawn but makes the setting brighter;
Gay Epilogue will shine where Prologue fails--
As glow-worms keep their splendor for their tails.
I know not why--but time, methinks, hath past
More fleet than usual since we parted last.
It seems but like a dream of yesternight.
Whose charm still hangs, with fond, delaying light;
And, ere the memory lose one glowing hue
Of former joy, we come to kindle new.
Thus ever may the flying moments haste
With trackless foot along life's vulgar waste,
But deeply print and lingeringly move,
When thus they reach the sunny spots we love.
Oh yes, whatever be our gay career,
Let this be still the solstice of the year,
Where Pleasure's sun shall at its height remain,
And slowly sink to level life again.