The First and Last
I lov’d thee — how, no tongue can tell —
I love thee — all may question why;
But Reason, when they mock the spell,
Gives to the scorners brief reply.
It was because thy gentle pow’r
My fancy’s earliest blossom nursed;
Thine was my childhood’s sweetest hour
And thine the love that warm’d it first.
Thou wast the eyelid of my soul —
Preserver of its purest sense;
And once beneath thy bland control
It slept in holy innocence.
Oft to the brink of Ruin’s flood
Thou cam’st a wand’rer to arrest,
And like the guardian mother, show’d
The softness of a matron’s breast.
I gave thee first a tale of Time 1
Which withers Pleasure’s summer roses
Now take a tale of love like mine
Which on the wings of Time reposes.
For Time and Love together grew
First in Creation’s volume class’d;
And ancient Time where’er he flew,
Found faithful Love surviving last.
The flow’rs of pomp, and fame, and wit
Have left this hollow bosome bare;
But one long-hid remembrance yet
Lives like the dark soft violet there.
It is the last! without a sigh
None look on loves or friendships past.
None smile without a tearful eye
When Joy’s bright moment is the last.
Think of me when in distant lands
Perhaps thy wreath of fame is cast;
Think of me — from thy minstrel’s hands
This gift is sacred — ’tis the last!
Dearer than pleasure’s summer glow
When rosy footed hours glide fast,
Is that brief word which faint and slow
Unwilling Friendship whispers last —
Farewell! When jealous Time shall touch
Thy bloom with Winter’s withering blast,
Such be thy friendships — only such
Gild the bright hour and soothe the Last.
alias Atticus Scriblerus, Jun.
The Legend of Nauruz, or the Persian New Year’s Eve. ↩