Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO MARY, by BERNARD BARTON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

TO MARY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: It is not alone while we live in the light
Last Line: I shall look back at times, as I now have done.
Alternate Author Name(s): Quaker Poet
Subject(s): Friendship

IT is not alone while we live in the light
Of friendship's kindling glance,
That its beams so true, and so tenderly bright,
Our purest joys can enhance: --
But that ray shines on through a night of tears,
And its light is round us in after years.

Nor is it while yet on the listening ear
The accents of friendship steal,
That we know the extent of the joy so dear,
Which its touching tones reveal: --
'Tis in after moments of sorrow and pain,
Their echo surpasses music's strain.

Though years have roll'd by, dear Mary! since we
Have look'd on each other's face,
Yet thy memory is fondly cherish'd by me,
For my heart is its dwelling-place;
And, if on this earth we should meet no more,
It must linger there still until life is o'er.

The traveller who journeys the live-long day
Through some enchanting vale, --
Should he, when the mists of evening are gray,
Some neighbouring mountain scale, --
Oh! will he not stop, and look back to review
The delightful retreats he has wander'd through?

So I, who have toil'd up life's steep hill
Some steps, -- since we parted last,
Often pensively pause, and look eagerly still
On the few bright spots I have pass'd: --
And some of the brightest, dear Mary! to me,
Were the lovely ones I enjoy'd with thee.

I know not how soon dark clouds may shade
The valley of years gone by;
Or how quickly its happiest haunts may fade
In the mists of an evening sky; --
But -- till quench'd in the lustre of life's setting sun,
I shall look back at times, as I now have done.

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