Oh, lost, forever lost--no more
Shall Vesper light our dewy way
Along the rocks of Crissa's shore,
To hymn the fading fires of day;
No more to Tempe's distant vale
In holy musings shall we roam,
Through summer's glow and winter's gale,
To bear the mystic chaplets home.
'Twas then my soul's expanding zeal,
By nature warmed and led by thee,
In every breeze was taught to feel
The breathings of a Deity.
Guide of my heart! still hovering round.
Thy looks, thy words are still my own--
I see thee raising from the ground
Some laurel, by the winds o'er thrown.
And hear thee say, "This humble bough
Was planted for a doom divine;
And, though it droop in languor now,
Shall flourish on the Delphic shrine!"
"Thus, in the vale of earthly sense,
"Though sunk awhile the spirit lies,
"A viewless hand shall cull it thence
"To bloom immortal in the skies!"
All that the young should feel and know
By thee was taught so sweetly well,
Thy words fell soft as vernal snow,
And all was brightness where they fell!
Fond soother of my infant tear,
Fond sharer of my infant joy,
Is not thy shade still lingering here?
Am I not still thy soul's employ?
Oh yes--and, as in former days,
When, meeting on the sacred mount,
Our nymphs awaked their choral lays,
And danced around Cassotis' fount;
As then, 'twas all thy wish and care,
That mine should be the simplest mien,
My lyre and voice the sweetest there,
My foot the lightest o'er the green:
So still, each look and step to mould,
Thy guardian care is round me spread,
Arranging every snowy fold
And guiding every mazy tread.
And, when I lead the hymning choir,
Thy spirit still, unseen and free,
Hovers between my lip and lyre,
And weds them into harmony.
Flow, Plistus, flow, thy murmuring wave
Shall never drop its silvery tear
Upon so pure, so blest a grave,
To memory so entirely dear!