An Exile’s Dream

Miss Vardill

Sweet dream, to my pillow return!
 The heart-weary wanderer cheer
Redeem from the mouldering urn
 The treasures of memory dear!
Methought I trod light on the bank
 Where bloom’d my lov’d eglantine’s flow’r,
And sought ’midst the mistletoe dank
 The roof of my lost Lucy’s bow’r.

The moon on her long lov’d abode
 Shone bright as in midsummer’s eve
While I sprang thro’ the far winding road
 The kisses of peace to receive.
Joy lighted the white-column’d hall,
 Love smil’d on the steps of the door;
Then revelry woke at the call
 Of them, who shall waken no more!

The woodbine hung gay round the thatch
 Now sunk with the wrecks of the wave;
And I saw on the half-open’d latch
 The hand which is dust in the grave!
The corn-reapers sung on the hill
 Where now the wild wood pigeon cries;
How blithe seem’d the hum of the mill
 Where lonely the winter-wind sighs!

Blest land! shall I view thee no more?
 Shall my feet never press thee again?
But fancy thy charms shall restore — 
 For me they unfaded remain!
Thy dome may be silent and cold,
 Yet memory claims it her own:
The ruin I cannot behold
 To me shall be ever unknown.

The axe of the stranger has laid
 My bow’r of lov’d eglantines low;
But memory visits their shade — 
 Still, still in her Eden they grow!
My groves may be leafless and shorn
 Yet fancy still pictures their prime;
She hears not my foresters mourn,
 She sees not the footsteps of time.

The faces I loved in their bloom
 All faded and furrow’d may be;
The hearts may lie cold in the tomb
 Which bounded in gladness with me.
But I shall not their relics survey,
 Nor tread the green turf where they sleep,
Nor see round their mouldering clay
 The moss of the sepulchre creep!

No, still let me fancy them near
 While thro’ the dim valley I roam,
Their voices at midnight I hear
 They call the poor wanderer home!
My friends! ye assemble there still
 The home of a Father ye share!
My path may be dreary and chill
 But soon ye shall welcome me there!

A Stranger

Respectfully offered for the Attic Chest