Woodland Memories.

I dearly love the lonely grove1
That waves above the mill,2
Where April breezes learn to move,3
And Autumn gales to shrill.4
Barely two acres in extent,5
It climbs the glimm’ring wold,6
Fair when its buds with green are blent,7
Fairer when touched with gold.8
Blithe children once in long-past years9
Beneath its boughs would stray ;10
This oak the self-same aspect wears,11
This elm—but where are they ?12
Some sleep beneath a Tropic sun ;13
One dares the Arctic wave ;14
The rest have dropped off one by one,15
And I am near my grave.16
Yet still I love with morn to hear17
The twittering tits above,18
To watch at eve each long bright spear19
Of light that cleaves the grove.20
The leaves o’erhead, the flowers below,21
Speak all of distant days22
Days glorified by time’s rich glow,23
But half-lost in its haze.24
All earnest thoughts, and jests, and sighs25
That erst were uttered here,26
Still haunt me, till my pensive eyes27
Grow dim with Friendship’s tear.28
Yet one dear relic of the past29
Still walks the wood with me,30
My wife—and onwards we both haste31
Towards eternity.32
One more remembrance—in this grove33
Our plighted faith was given ;34
Now, do you wonder at my love ?35
Here earth was changed to heaven !36