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Duly I sought thy banks, and tried
My first rude numbers by thy side.
Words cannot tell how bright and gay
The scenes of life before me lay.
Then glorious hopes, that now to speak
Would bring the blood into my cheek,
Passed o'er me; and I wrote, on high,
A name I deemed should never die.

Years change thee not. Upon yon hill The tall old maples, verdant still, Yet tell, in grandeur of decay, How swift the years have passed away, Since first, a child, and half afraid, I wandered in the forest shade. Thou ever joyous rivulet, Dost dimple, leap, and prattle yet; And sporting with the sands that pave The windings of thy silver wave, And dancing to thy own wild chime, Thou laughest at the lapse of time. The same sweet sounds are in my ea. My early childhood loved to hear; As pure thy limpid waters run, , As bright they sparkle to the sun; As fresh and thick the bending ranks Of herbs that line thy oozy banks ;

The violet there, in soft May dew,
Comes up, as modest and as blue;

green amid thy current's stress,
Floats the scarce-rooted watercress :
And the brown ground-bird, in thy glen,
Still chirps as merrily as then.

Thou changest not—but I am changed, Since first thy pleasant banks I ranged; And the grave stranger, come to see The play-place of his infancy, Has scarce a single trace of him Who sported once upon thy brim. The visions of my youth are past Too bright, too beautiful to last. I've tried the world-it wears no more The colouring of romance it wore. Yet well has Nature kept the truth She promised to my earliest youth. The radiant beauty shed abroad On all the glorious works of God, Shows freshly, to my sobered eye, Each charm it wore in days gone by

A few brief years shall pass away, And I, all trembling, weak, and gray,

Bowed to the earth, which waits to fold My ashes in the embracing mould, (If haply the dark will of fate Indulge my life so long a date,) ) May, come for the last time to look Upon my childhood's favourite brook. Then dimly on my eye shall gleam' The sparkle of thy dancing stream; And faintly on my ear shall fall Thy prattling current's merry call; Yet shalt thou flow as glad and bright As when thou met’st my infant sight.

* And I shall sleep-and on thy side, As ages after

ages glide, Children their early sports shall try, And pass to hoary age and die. But thou, unchanged from year to year, Gayly shalt play and glitter here; Amid young flowers and tender grass Thy endless infancy shalt pass; And, singing down thy narrow glen, Shalt mock the fading race of men.


The stormy March is come at last,

With wind, and cloud, and changing skies, I hear the rushing of the blast,

That through the snowy valley flies

Ah, passing few are they who speak,

Wild stormy month! in praise of thee; Yet, though thy winds are loud and bleak,

Thou art a welcome month to me.

For thou, to northern lands, again

The glad and glorious sun dost bring, And thou hast joined the gentle train

And wear'st the gentle name of Spring.

And, in thy reign of blast and storm,

Smiles many a long, bright, sunny day, When the changed winds are soft and warm,

And heaven puts on the blue of May.


Then sing aloud the gushing rills

And the full springs, from frost set free, That, brightly leaping down the hills,

Are just set out to meet the sea.

The year's departing beauty hides

Of wintry storms the sullen threat; But in thy sternest frown abides

A look of kindly promise yet.

Thou bring'st the hope of those calm skies.

And that soft time of sunny showers, When the wide bloom, on earth that lies,

Seems of a brighter world than ours.

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