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THOUGHTS UNDER A TREE.
I NEVER sit me down beneath
A wood tree's pleasant shade,
By its branches made,
Of nature's faithfulness,
Oh! a story is written on river and rock,
And on the eloquent sky,
Man cannot fly;
And pleads for admittance there, And we listen with stinging ears
To its prayer.
On the sky a child is limned,
A child with sunny hair,
Of innocence and bliss,
The flowers that kiss.
Ah me! for the days that are gone!
Wo's me! for the days that are now,
On a care-worn brow.
With the world like a strong-strong man; So flush my cheek that now
And I'll go and brave it manfully,
And laugh as loud as the best; And another day ’neath the green-wood tree
Thou shalt have rest.
Bright ye seem as youth's best day dreams,
Full of joy and full of praise, Far off clouds in yellow sunbeams,
Memory painted, other days!
There, all beautiful in sunlight,
Stands a goodly company, Friends, with yearning youthful love, bright,
Who have gone their God to see.
Smile on! good friends! I'm with you smiling,
My laughing spirit's with you there, Hand in hand with friends beguiling
Biting thoughts of worldly care.
Journeying now as once together
With each phantom, hand in hand, Still we have sun-shiny weather,
Journeying in the warm Dream-Land.
For these travels oft my spirit
Had been longing, yet in vain ! Sad my fears, I might inherit
In this world, the curse of Cain.
For though thousands fluttered blindly
Round me in life's pleasure-blaze, Yet not one spoke to me kindly,
Like the loved of other days.
Then I fled from life's thronged river,
And sought out a Bower of Ease, Where the dancing sunbeams quiver
Through the shadowy roof of trees.
There I laid me down in sorrow;
There with morn's I mixed my tears; Joy from memory nought could borrow,
Hope fled from the coming years.
Then, like morn-light coyly peeping
O’er the misty mountain's head, Came the scene, which had been sleeping
In a heart to sorrow wed.
There memory's show was stretched before me,
Angels with me did abide, Angel-harpings quivered o'er me,
Flowers sprang fragrant at my side.
Then in long white-robed procession
Came the loved of other days, Buried friends soothed my oppression,
By the old familiar ways.
Again, I'm singing, loved ones, with ye,
As when of old we fought with care, But ye fly! my peace I give ye,
As ye melt in upper air.
Come again with your blest presence,
Come again, ye spirit-friends, Let me often know the pleasance,
Which your shadowy coming lends.