The Ivy .

A graceful ivy, fair and young,1
Around a dear old ruin twined,2
And closer still it crept and clung3
When o’er it swept the angry wind.4
And for a time the ruin old5
Looked fresh in vest so soft and sheen,6
But oh the heart of stone is cold,7
So, haply, felt that ivy green.8
Yet drooped it not !  With love unchilled,9
Round every corner queer ’ twould cling,10
And sportive twine as fancy willed11
The living, loving, wayward thing !12
Sad sighed the wind one wintry eve13
All mournful round the tottering pile,14
Some gentle spirit seemed to grieve15
O’er love that even at death could smile.16
But all unheeded passed that sigh,17
And all unmarked that boding voice18
The ivy true, as fate drew nigh,19
But fonder clasped its hapless choice.20
While, sadder as the sad wind sighed,21
An answering cadence rose and fell,22
Deep echoing through each portal wide23
The dear old ruin’s funeral knell.24
Then reeled and sank each lofty tower25
That long erect in stately pride26
Had mocked the raging tempest’s power,27
And time’s-destroying hand defied.28
Now, buried ’ neath the mouldering heap,29
The poor fond ivy whelmèd lies30
Be such my lot! I would not weep,31
But die when all I cherish dies.32