'T is said that each succeeding year
Another circlet weaves
Within each living, waving tree;
Yet not in buds or leaves,--
But far within the silent core,
The tiny shuttles ply,
At Nature's ever-working loom,
Unseen by human eye.
And thus, within my "heart of hearts,"
Doth this returning day,
Another golden zone complete,
Another circle lay;
And when unto the shadowy past
In retrospect I flee,
I numerate the fleeting years
By deepening love for thee.
Since last we met this sunny day
How bright the hours have flown!
Youth, Love, and Hope, with fadeless light,
Around our way have shone;
And if a shadow from the past
Has floated o'er the dream,
'T was softened, like a violet cloud
Reflected in a stream.
Yet if an hour of bitter grief,
Should e'er thy spirit claim,
May it the trying ordeal pass,
As gold the fiery flame;
And may the years that bind our hearts
In love that cannot die,
Still draw us hourly nearer God,
And nearer to the sky.