The Wild Rose.

From cloudless skies, the sun o’erhung1
With crimson fire the western main ;2
In shadows deep and verdure young,3
The woods and fields smiled back again ;4
It was a luxury to breathe5
The very air, so pure and clear ;6
Vales, like a map, were spread beneath,7
And far withdrawing hills seemed near.8
Afar from paths of men I strayed,9
With raptured eye and glowing heart ;10
And felt, that every field and glade11
Could fresh delight and love impart ;—12
The running stream, with flowers o’erhung ;13
The trees that seemed to woo the air ;14
The bees that humm’d, the birds that sung,—15
’Twas too much for the mind to bear !16
The city’s noise was left behind,17
Remote its azure spires appeared ;18
And human strife, thus brought to mind,19
The rural quiet more endeared.20
Beside the stream, I threw me down21
Amid the flowers all fresh and fair,22
And, shooting from its banks of brown,23
A wild rose spread its boughs in air ;24
Its leaves so beautifully green,25
Its cups so delicately blue,26
Awakened thoughts of many a scene,27
Far banished from my vacant view !28
Thoughts, that have long been veiled in sleep ;29
Hopes, that allured but to depart ;30
And recollections buried deep31
Within the shut and silent heart.32
Wrapt in the mournful reverie33
Of shadowy thoughts a crowding throng ;34
Before the glass. of Memory,35
Like restless sprits, trooped along ;36
And, for a while, absorbed in thought,37
From prospects drearily o’ercast,38
A solace and relief I sought39
Amid the sunshine of the past !40
Frail beings are we ! following still41
The rainbow hopes that lure afar ;42
By night and day, for good or ill,43
With others, or ourselves at war !44
We cannot stop—we will not try45
Contentment in our lot to find ;46
We dare not rest ; tranquillity47
Is worse than discord to mankind !48
Well—’twill be over soon !— the strife49
Of being, and the fond regret ;50
The visions of exalted life51
We cannot reach, nor yet forget.52
Chained down, and fixed to present care53
Like exiles to their native shore54
We look behind us ; but despair55
To find the bliss that charmed before !56
Then come the rack—the searching pains57
The rankling of the poisoned wound58
And, like Prometheus, from the chains,59
With many a coil, that gird us round,60
We strive to rise—or, like the bird,61
That beats in vain against the wires,62
Until no more its wings are heard,63
And, palsied with its toil, expires !64