One Trace Left.

They dragged it through the miry street,1
The trunk of a fallen tree ;2
And on its bark the drizzling sleet3
Fell damp and chillingly.4
Far from its native spot ’twas borne,5
Far from its leafy wood ;6
And sister trees were left to mourn7
The gap where once it stood.8
It brought a memory of the dale9
When summer days were nigh,10
And breezes wafted from the vale,11
The violet’s perfumed sigh ;12
Of summer nights, that stealing down13
As softly as the dew,14
Left on the hills a misty crown,15
And darkened Heaven’s blue.16
But now, instead of woodland hush,17
Or woodland zephyrs sweet,18
It dragged through falling sleet and slush19
Along the miry street.20
I thought, Is there no relic left,21
To tell its bygone pride ?22
Have all its boughs been rudely reft ?23
Has every leaflet died ?24
I looked, and saw that round the tree,25
With tendrils fresh and green,26
The ivy lingered lovingly,27
To tell of what had been.28
This remnant of its beauty yet29
Clung fond and constant there,30
To bid me not in haste forget31
The wreck had once been fair.32
And thus I thought the human heart,33
Degraded though it be,34
Retaineth still some lovely part,35
Like this poor fallen tree.36
Dragged through the world’s rough miry ways,37
Despised and scorned by all,38
Mementoes of its brighter days39
Will linger in its fall.40
The beauty that its Maker gave,41
The feelings pure and high,42
Can only perish in the grave,43
And die when it shall die !44
’Tis there, in some lone hidden spot,45
Which we pass by in haste :46
Each heart hath one forget-me-not,47
Amid its dreary waste.48
However rough, and rude, and dark,49
That human breast may be,50
Some beauty clingeth to its bark,51
Like ivy to the tree.52