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248 FOREST MELODIES.
Ah, why is it thus ? I know that I bear A blight to the summer's flowerets fair, And then, with my fingers of cold decay, I tear the leaves from the casement away.
But, wherefore detest me ? commission'd I come, By the One who inhabits yon lofty dome, And sendeth the spring to illumine the sky,— I shall now do His bidding as faithfully.
But alas—alas! in my lonely track, There are no fond hearts to welcome me back; But many a soul in its loneliness grieves, At the sound of my tread through the wither'd leaves.
( THE OLD MAN'S ANSWER. Do ye ask of the friends I have known—
The young, and the fair, and light-hearted ? Ah ! the path I now traverse is lone,
For alas! they have long since departed! Some are scatter'd and scathed by the hand of
time, And others have pass'd to eternity's clime.
0! ye, of the blue or the dark-beaming eye. And ye, of the red lips' beauteous hue; —*
The friends of my happier, earlier years, Were as bright and as lovely as you: