Pilgrim of life! thy hoary head
Is bent with age, thine eye
Looks downward to the silent dead,
Wreck of mortality!--
The friends who flourished in thy day
Have sought their narrow home;
Their spirits whisper, "Come away!"--
My soul replies, I come.--
I tread the path I trod a child,
The fields I loved of yore;
The flowers that 'neath my footsteps smiled
Now meet my gaze no more.
I stand beneath this giant oak!
It was an aged tree,
Hollowed by time's resistless stroke,
When life was green with me.
Its lofty head it proudly rears
To greet the summer sky,
Whilst, bending with the weight of years,
I feebly totter by.
And hushed are all the thousand songs
That filled these branches high:
Echo no more for me prolongs
The woodland minstrelsy.
Silence has gathered round life's hall;
My friends are in the clay;
I hear no more the footsteps fall,
That cheered my early day;
I see no more the faces dear,
Which shone around my hearth:
Bereft of all--I sojourn here--
Still happy, though on earth!--
And canst thou smile when all are gone
Who shared thy youthful prime;
Content to wait and watch alone,
To grapple still with time?
How comes it that thou thus below
Hast rest above the sod,
Which brings to memory scenes of woe?
It is the will of God!