George Pope Morris

1802-1864 / USA


One balmy summer night, Mary,
Just as the risen moon
Had thrown aside her fleecy veil,
We left the gay saloon;
And in a green, sequestered spot,
Beneath a drooping tree,
Fond words were breathed, by you forgot,
That still are dear to me, Mary,
That still are dear to me.

Oh, we were happy, then, Mary--
Time lingered on his way,
To crowd a lifetime in a night,
Whole ages in a day!
If star and sun would set and rise
Thus in our after years,
The world would be a paradise,
And not a vale of tears, Mary,
And not a vale of tears.

I live but in the past, Mary--
The glorious day of old!
When love was hoarded in the heart,
As misers hoard their gold:
And often like a bridal train,
To music soft and low,
The by-gone moments cross my brain,
In all their summer glow, Mary,
In all their summer glow.

These visions form and fade, Mary,
As age comes stealing on,
To bring the light and leave the shade
Of days for ever gone!
The poet's brow may wear at last
The bays that round it fall;
But love has rose-buds of the past
Far dearer than them all, Mary,
Far dearer than them all!
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