To Joseph Atkinson, Esq.

A poem by Thomas Moore


"The daylight is gone--but, before we depart,
"One cup shall go round to the friend of my heart,
"The kindest, the dearest--oh! judge by the tear
"I now shed while I name him, how kind and how dear."

'Twas thus in the shade of the Calabash-Tree,
With a few, who could feel and remember like me,
The charm that, to sweeten my goblet, I threw
Was a sigh to the past and a blessing on you.

Oh! say, is it thus, in the mirth-bringing hour,
When friends are assembled, when wit, in full flower,
Shoots forth from the lip, under Bacchus's dew,
In blossoms of thought ever springing and new--
Do you sometimes remember, and hallow the brim
Of your cup with a sigh, as you crown it to him
Who is lonely and sad in these valleys so fair,
And would pine in elysium, if friends were not there!

Last night, when we came from the Calabash-Tree,
When my limbs were at rest and my spirit was free,
The glow of the grape and the dreams of the day
Set the magical springs of my fancy in play,
And oh,--such a vision as haunted me then
I would slumber for ages to witness again.
The many I like, and the few I adore,
The friends who were dear and beloved before.
But never till now so beloved and dear,
At the call of my Fancy, surrounded me here;
And soon,--oh, at once, did the light of their smiles
To a paradise brighten this region of isles;
More lucid the wave, as they looked on it, flowed,
And brighter the rose, as they gathered it, glowed.
Not the valleys Heraean (though watered by rills
Of the pearliest flow, from those pastoral hills.[2]
Where the Song of the Shepherd, primeval and wild,
Was taught to the nymphs by their mystical child,)
Could boast such a lustre o'er land and o'er wave
As the magic of love to this paradise gave.

Oh magic of love! unembellished by you,
Hath the garden a blush or the landscape a hue?
Or shines there a vista in nature or art,
Like that which Love opes thro' the eye to the heart?

Alas, that a vision so happy should fade!
That, when morning around me in brilliancy played,
The rose and the stream I had thought of at night
Should still be before me, unfadingly bright;
While the friends, who had seemed to hang over the stream,
And to gather the roses, had fled with my dream.

But look, where, all ready, in sailing array,
The bark that's to carry these pages away,[3]
Impatiently flutters her wing to the wind,
And will soon leave these islets of Ariel behind.
What billows, what gales is she fated to prove,
Ere she sleep in the lee of the land that I love!
Yet pleasant the swell of the billows would be,
And the roar of those gales would be music to me.
Not the tranquillest air that the winds ever blew,
Not the sunniest tears of the summer-eve dew,
Were as sweet as the storm, or as bright as the foam
Of the surge, that would hurry your wanderer home.

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