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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). An American Anthology, 1787–1900. 1900.

By George DenisonPrentice

137 Memories

ONCE more, once more, my Mary dear,

I sit by that lone stream,

Where first within thy timid ear

I breathed love’s burning dream.

The birds we loved still tell their tale

Of music, on each spray,

And still the wild-rose decks the vale—

But thou art far away.

In vain thy vanished form I seek,

By wood and stream and dell,

And tears of anguish bathe my cheek

Where tears of rapture fell;

And yet beneath these wild-wood bowers

Dear thoughts my soul employ,

For in the memories of past hours

There is a mournful joy.

Upon the air thy gentle words

Around me seemed to thrill,

Like sounds upon the wind-harp’s chords

When all the winds are still,

Or like the low and soul-like swell

Of that wild spirit-tone,

Which haunts the hollow of the bell

When its sad chime is done.

I seem to hear thee speak my name

In sweet low murmurs now;

I seem to feel thy breath of flame

Upon my cheek and brow;

On my cold lips I feel thy kiss,

Thy heart to mine is laid—

Alas, that such a dream of bliss

Like other dreams must fade!