The world has just begun to steal
Each hope that led me lightly on;
I felt not, as I used to feel,
And life grew dark and love was gone.
No eye to mingle sorrow's tear,
No lip to mingle pleasure's breath,
No circling arms to draw me near--
'Twas gloomy, and I wished for death.
But when I saw that gentle eye,
Oh! something seemed to tell me then,
That I was yet too young to die,
And hope and bliss might bloom again.
With every gentle smile that crost
Your kindling cheek, you lighted home
Some feeling which my heart had lost
And peace which far had learned to roam.
'Twas then indeed so sweet to live,
Hope looked so new and Love so kind.
That, though I mourn, I yet forgive
The ruin they have left behind.
I could have loved you--oh, so well!--
The dream, that wishing boyhood knows,
Is but a bright, beguiling spell,
That only lives while passion glows.
But, when this early flush declines,
When the heart's sunny morning fleets,
You know not then how close it twines
Round the first kindred soul it meets.
Yes, yes, I could have loved, as one
Who, while his youth's enchantments fall,
Finds something dear to rest upon,
Which pays him for the loss of all.