We Return No More ! *

When I stood beneath the fresh green tree,
And saw around me the wide field revive
With fruits and fertile promise, and the Spring
Come forth her work of gladness to contrive,
With all her reckless birds upon the wing,
I turn’d from all she brought to all she could not bring.
Childe Harold.
We return—we return—we return no more !”1
—So comes the song to the mountain-shore,2
From those that are leaving their Highland home,3
For a world far over the blue sea’s foam :4
We return no more !” and through cave and dell5
Mournfully wanders that wild Farewell.6
We return—we return—we return no more !”7
—So breathe sad voices our spirits o’er,8
Murmuring up from the depths of the heart,9
Where lovely things with their light depart ;10
And the inborn sound hath a prophet’s tone,11
And we feel that a joy is for ever gone.12
We return—we return—we return no more !”13
—Is it heard when the days of flowers are o’er ?14
When the passionate soul of the night-bird’s lay15
Hath died from the summer woods away ?16
When the glory from sunset’s robe hath pass’d,17
Or the leaves are borne on the rushing blast ?18
No ! it is not the rose that returns no more ;19
A breath of spring shall its bloom restore ;20
And it is not the voice that o’erflows the bowers21
With a stream of love through the starry hours ;22
Nor is it the crimson of sunset-hues,23
Nor the frail flush’d leaves which the wild wind strews.24
We return—we return—we return no more !”25
—Doth the bird sing thus from a brighter shore ? 26
Those wings, that follow the southern breeze, 27
Float they not homeward o’er vernal seas ? 28
Yes ! from the lands of the vine and palm, 29
They come, with the sunshine, when waves grow calm.30
But wewe return—we return no more !” 31
The heart’s young dreams when their spring is o’er ;32
The love it hath pour’d so freely forth,33
The boundless trust in ideal worth ;34
The faith in affection—deep, fond, yet vain35
These are the Lost that return not again !36

* “ Ha til—ha til—ha til mi tulidle”—We return—we return—we return no
more,—the burden of the Highland song of emigration.