My spirit shall revisit thee, dear cot!
Thy jasmine, and thy window-peeping rose,
And myrtles fearless of the mild sea-air,
And I shall sigh fond wishes, sweet abode!
In life’s meridian stage,—what time are past1
Youth’s sweet vicissitudes, its hopes and fears,2
Its day-dreams all too rapturous to last,3
Its buoyant spirit, that dispels and cheers4
Affliction’s twilight; and the vale of years,5
Far-stretching from the present to the hour,6
The verdant hour of infancy, appears7
Like one fair landscape, deck’d with many a flower,8
Where sunshine now prevails, now darkling tempests
If but our steps retrace the cherish’d scene10
The home of happy childhood, where the mind11
Put forth its earliest flowers, still fresh and green ;12
Record of innocent joys, by time refined13
From their alloy, and as it were entwined14
With the heart’s tendrils, by the mystic chain15
Of sweet associations, undefined16
How swells the bosom with a mingled train17
Of wild emotions, fraught with pleasure and with pain !18
Whence comes this tumult?—Like the flash of day19
Bursts forth the past to view!—Our spirits burn20
In one bright flame of joy, then melt away21
In tender melancholy, as we turn22
To life’s cold, dull realities, and mourn23
That those gay hopes and feelings youth had fed,—24
Its sweet illusions,—can no more return ;25
Or, it may be, a pang, that they who bred,26
Who lov’d, who cherish’d us, are mingled with the dead.27
Now are we far along the stream of life ;28
These joys are ours no more: we’ve learnt to view29
Things in a clearer mirror, as though rife30
With much of good, yet much of evil too ;31
Our wanderings of fancy are but few :32
What marvel then that we so fondly prize33
The spot where erst our young affections grew ;34
Where visions, now forbidden, bless’d our eyes35
Endear’d by sweet regret, hallow’d by sacred ties !36
There is a language in the very trees,37
In each loved haunt to which the mind will cling38
With more than pristine fondness ;  in the breeze,39
The bubbling stream, a voice of welcoming,40
Upon the o’erwrought feelings’ tender string41
Waking alternate tones of grief and joy ;42
And backward as we turn, while from its spring43
Starts the warm tear, these truths our mind employ :44
Where, in this chequer’d scene, is good without alloy ?45
Doth he, who basks in youth’s bright day-dreams, dare46
To hope no twilight will succeed to this ?47
Doth he aspire for aye in peace to share48
The home he loves, within whose circle is49
The beau ideal of his earthly bliss ?50
Alas !  to real ills he must conform ;51
Far darker, sterner destiny is his ;52
And happiest he who boldly breasts the storm,53
Whom no refinements clog, no sickly tastes deform.54
Then let, him launch his bark upon the tide,55
With Hope its pennon fluttering in the gale ;56
Freighted with charities, secure ’t will ride,57
Love at the helm, Joy swelling every sail ;58
Nor shall the Scylla of Remorse prevail,59
Nor Passion’s wild Charybdis heeded roar :60
For, firm amid the dangers that assail,61
He steers, with ardent eye, for that far shore,62
Where, anchor’d in repose, his toils will be-no more.63