‘I am so Happy !’

I see the faded writing, dated oh ! so long ago ;1
The clear round text is fairly traced by childish fingers slow ;2
’Tis but a simple record of inconstant hopes and fears,3
But one short sentence written there I blot with falling tears.4
It is this— ‘ I am so happy.’ But twenty years have flown5
Since those pleasant words were writ to a loving playmate gone ;6
This is the hand that traced them, they were innocent and true,7
This is the heart so buoyant then, as rosy moments flew.8
I gaze upon the characters, I ponder o’er them yet ;9
The many intervening years I struggle to forget ;10
Oh but to realise them now for one short fleeting hour,11
The dark, dark shadows of this life ceasing a while to lour !12
I am so happy’—well-a-day ! those strange and thrilling words13
Sound soft and sweetly as the song of wild and woodland birds,14
In twilight glades at evening fall, when, ’mid the shiv’ring leaves,15
A whispering of import sad our busy fancy weaves.16
May I not be a child once more ? My second birth must be17
No day-dream of a sickly mind, but blest reality :18
Then, then again those glorious words with truth I may indite19
I am so happy’—traced within in characters of light !20