Don't you remember sweet Alice, Ben Bolt?
Sweet Alice, with hair so brown,
Who blushed with delight if you gave her a smile,
And trembled with fear at your frown?
In the old church-yard in the valley, Ben Bolt,
In a corner obscure and lone.
They have fitted a slab of granite so gray,
And Alice lies under the stone.
Under the hickory tree, Ben Bolt,
That stood at the foot of the hill,
Together we've lain in the noon day shade
And listened to Appleton's mill.
The mill-wheel has fallen to pieces, Ben Bolt,
The rafters have tumbled in.
And a quiet that crawls round the wall as you gaze.
Takes the place of the olden din.
Do you mind the cabin of logs, Ben Bolt,
That stood in the pathless wood?
And the button-ball tree, with its motley boughs,
That nigh by the door-step stood?
The cabin to ruin has gone, Ben Bolt;
You would look for the tree in vain;
And where once the lords of the forest stood,
Grows grass And the golden grain.
And don't you remember the school, Ben Bolt,
And the master so cruel and grim?
And the shady nook in the running brook,
Where the children went to swim?
Grass grows on the master's grave, Ben Bolt,
The spring of the brook is dry,
And of all the boys who were schoolmates then,
There are only you And I!
There's a change in the things I love, Ben Bolt;
They have changed from the old to the new;
But I feel in the core of my spirit the truth,
There never was a change in you.
Twelve months twenty have passed, Ben Bolt,
Since first we were friends, yet I hail
Thy presence a blessing, thy friendship a truth,
Ben Bolt of the salt-sea gale!