The Sweet Briar.


The Sweet Briar flowering,1
With boughs embowering,2
Beside the willow-tufted stream,3
In its soft, red bloom,4
And its wild perfume,5
Brings back the past like a sunny dream !6


Methinks, in childhood,7
Beside the wildwood8
I lie, and listen the blackbird’s song,9
Mid the evening calm,10
As the Sweet Briar’s balm11
On the gentle west wind breathes along12


To speak of meadows,13
And palm-tree shadows,14
And bee-hive cones, and a thymy hill,15
And greenwood mazes,16
And greensward daisies,17
And a foamy stream, and a clacking mill.18


Still the heart rejoices,19
At the happy voices20
Of children, singing amid their play :21
While swallows twittering,22
And waters glittering,23
Make earth an Eden at close of day.24


In sequestered places,25
Departed faces,26
Return and smile as of yore they smiled ;27
When, with trifles blest,28
Each buoyant breast29
Held the trusting heart of a little child.30


The future never31
Again can ever32
The perished gifts of the past restore,33
Nor, to thee or me,34
Can the wild flowers be35
What the Briar was then—oh never more !36