Alone by the Schuylkill a wanderer roved,
And bright were its flowery banks to his eye;
But far, very far were the friends that he loved,
And he gazed on its flowery banks with a sigh.
Oh Nature, though blessed and bright are thy rays,
O'er the brow of creation enchantingly thrown,
Yet faint are they all to the lustre that plays
In a smile from the heart that is fondly our own.
Nor long did the soul of the stranger remain
Unblest by the smile he had languished to meet;
Though scarce did he hope it would soothe him again,
Till the threshold of home had been pressed by his feet.
But the lays of his boyhood had stolen to their ear,
And they loved what they knew of so humble a name;
And they told him, with flattery welcome and dear,
That they found in his heart something better than fame.
Nor did woman--oh woman! Whose form and whose soul
Are the spell and the life of each path we pursue;
Whether sunned in the tropics or chilled at the pole,
If woman be there, there is happiness too:--
Nor did she her enamoring magic deny,--
That magic his heart had relinquished so long,--
Like eyes he had loved was her eloquent eye,
Like them did it soften and weep at his song.
Oh, blest be the tear, and in memory oft
May its sparkle be shed o'er the wanderer's dream;
Thrice blest be that eye, and may passion as soft,
As free from a pang, ever mellow its beam!
The stranger is gone--but he will not forget,
When at home he shall talk of the toils he has known,
To tell, with a sigh, what endearments he met,
As he strayed by the wave of the Schuylkill alone.