Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

Memories

Lonely musing, sadly thinking,
Strength and spirits failing, sinking,
Drooping, shivering, cow'ring, shrinking,
In the wintry blast.
Winds are howling, roaring, screaming,
Thunder rolling, lightning gleaming,
Rain and hail in torrents streaming,
Driving fierce and fast.
Storms the face of nature marring,
Thunder-clouds conflicting, jarring,
Strife of elemental warring,
These are calm and tame
To the storms of wrathful feeling,
Human hearts to vengeance stealing,
Wrath of man in deeds revealing
Rapine, blood, and shame.
Cease, my heart, thy dirge-like knelling!
Why in mournful numbers swelling?
Why my muse thus ever quelling
Strains of hope and peace?
Change the strain, the flowers are springing?
Hark! the lark at heaven's gate singing!
Ah! his joyous anthem ringing,
Bids thy wailings cease.
The primrose in the dell is blowing;
Sister flowerets, fresh and glowing,
Grace the brooklet's brink, clear flowing
Through the dingle green.
To the tassel'd hazel bushes
Now resort the amorous thrushes;
The water coot among the rushes
Seeks her brood to screen.
Clouds alternate, smiling, weeping,
O'er the April skies are sweeping;
Dancing streams are gaily leaping
To the pools below.
Thousand small bright eyes are twinkling
Through the leaves, where trilling, tinkling
Song of wild birds gushes, trinkling
In melodious flow.
In dewy tears the hy'cinth weeping,
Her drooping azure bells is steeping,
The violet's sweet blue eyes are peeping,
Veiling leaflets through.
With 'daisies pied,' and cowslips yellow,
Comes the voice that hath no fellow-
Wandering voice, soft, clear, and mellow,
'Tis the lone cuckoo.
Beauteous spring! with throb and quiver
Beats my heart. Alas! for ever
My eyes are dark, and I shall never
See thy smiling face-
Never see the purple heather,
Ne'er the fern's green waving feather,
Never May's sweet blossoms gather,
On my breast to place.
Be hush'd, my heart! thy 'plaint restraining,
Hush'd be murmuring and complaining,
'Tis the will of God constraining
Humble resignation.
Bear thy loss without repining,
'Darkest clouds have silver lining,'
On the night of sorrow shining;
Blessed consolation!
Olden memories never dying,
Treasures in my bosom lying,
The failing founts of life supplying
With perennial flow.
Memories of the good and holy,
Of the dark and melancholy,
Of the sufferers meek and lowly,
Sainted long ago.
Memories of the young and loving,
Friendships tried, yet faithful proving,
Scenes to deep compassion moving,
Cureless, tearless woes.
Memories sweet of rural pleasure,
Streams, and woods, and floral treasure,
Rich the free, unstinted measure
Nature's hand bestows.
Memory tells of idly dreaming
Life away-of never deeming
That the work of time redeeming
Being youth begun.
Work! while life's young sun is shining-
Darkness comes, when life, declining,
Weakly, darkly, sadly pining,
Mourns her work undone.
Memory ever backward flowing,
Of the future all unknowing,
Paints the past in colours glowing,
This bright memory can.
'The memory of the just is blessed.'
Be that bliss by all possessed!
All whose lives are thus expressed,
'Just to God and man.'
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