To say that I love thee is saying no more
Than others as truly have told thee before;
But they loved thee when erst on life’s early scene
The sun of good fortune rose bright and serene.
When, gay as the lark that ascends to the skies,
Health bloomed on thy cheek, and shone bright in thine eyes,
Still prompt at Euphrosyne’s call to advance
Swell the sweet card or weave light the dance.
On thy looks when affection endearingly hung
And watched for the accents that flowed from thy tongue,
Those accents could sorrow and sickness beguile,
E’en envy was vanquish’d and fled at thy smile.
But I love thee, of friends and of fortune bereft
When to thee but thy woes and they virtues are left;
Tho’ pale thy dear cheek, and tho’ faded thy form,
I love the bright spirit that smiles at the storm.
The spirit that weeps not for joys that are past
Nor lets present affliction the future o’ercast,
That still clings to hope, that best soother of pain,
A blessing herself, if her visions are vain.
That mourns not, tho’ Heav’n her best friend should remove,
But looks with delight to a meeting above —
The spirit that cheerful (not merely resign’d)
Stands proudly erected, nor bends in the wind.
I have mark’d the delight that has beam’d in thine eye
At joys to relinquish that cost not a sigh;
And I know that those friends to thy bosom were dear
Whose loss scarcely dimmed thy dark eye with a tear.
Oh then that your fate might be mingled with mine!
And fortune and pleasure again should be thine;
For their choicest enjoyments are due to a mind
Who prized them so well, yet so well has resign’d.