Not Alone !

Companions fair had I, while as a child,1
I danced along the smooth ascent to youth,2
Light-footed Joy, brave Hope, and Fancy wild,3
With wondrous fairy tales, all told for truth4
Love too was near, and came at every call ;5
Flung kisses, and fond words to great and small ;6
But of love’s nature then I scarce took note at all.7
Companions these, along youth’s level way ;8
Hope, now the dearest, never left my side9
But Joy and Fancy would not always stay,10
And Love, drawn closer, proved with pain allied :11
No longer gave she freely as of yore,12
But set a price upon her priceless store,13
And e’en when best repaid, in secret pined for more,14
Companions still are these, although I find15
The path grow narrow as my steps descend :16
Joy, Hope, and Fancy sometimes lag behind17
Let them ! so Love keep by me to the end !18
Love changed and chasten’d—careless grown of sway19
Careless how any prize her or repay ;20
Caring for this alone—to give herself away !21