A poem by James Russell Lowell

Like some lorn abbey now, the wood
Stands roofless in the bitter air;
In ruins on its floor is strewed
The carven foliage quaint and rare,
And homeless winds complain along
The columned choir once thrilled with song.

And thou, dear nest, whence joy and praise
The thankful oriole used to pour,
Swing'st empty while the north winds chase
Their snowy swarms from Labrador:
But, loyal to the happy past,
I love thee still for what thou wast.

Ah, when the Summer graces flee
From other nests more dear than thou,
And, where June crowded once, I see
Only bare trunk and disleaved bough;
When springs of life that gleamed and gushed
Run chilled, and slower, and are hushed;

When our own branches, naked long,
The vacant nests of Spring betray,
Nurseries of passion, love, and song
That vanished as our year grew gray;
When Life drones o'er a tale twice told
O'er embers pleading with the cold,--

I'll trust, that, like the birds of Spring,
Our good goes not without repair,
But only flies to soar and sing
Far off in some diviner air,
Where we shall find it in the calms
Of that fair garden 'neath the palms.

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