I saw thy form in youthful prime,
Nor thought that pale decay
Would steal before the steps of Time,
And waste its bloom away, Mary!
Yet still thy features wore that light,
Which fleets not with the breath;
And life ne'er looked more truly bright
Than in thy smile of death, Mary!
As streams that run o'er golden mines,
Yet humbly, calmly glide,
Nor seem to know the wealth that shines
Within their gentle tide, Mary!
So veiled beneath the simplest guise,
Thy radiant genius shone,
And that, which charmed all other eyes,
Seemed worthless in thy own, Mary!
If souls could always dwell above,
Thou ne'er hadst left that sphere;
Or could we keep the souls we love,
We ne'er had lost thee here, Mary!
Though many a gifted mind we meet,
Though fairest forms we see,
To live with them is far less sweet,
Than to remember thee, Mary!