Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, FORMER HOME, by CAROLINE CLIVE



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FORMER HOME, by            
First Line: In scenes untrod for many a year
Last Line: Speak life's fresh accents, mountain flood!
Alternate Author Name(s): V; Meysey-wigley, Caroline
Subject(s): Home


IN scenes untrod for many a year,
I stand again, the long estranged;
And gazing round me, ponder here
On all that has, and has not changed.

The casual visitor would see
Nought altered in the aspects round;
But long familiar shapes to me
Are missing, which I fain had found.

Still stands the rock, still runs the flood,
Which not an eye could pass unmoved;
The flow'ry bank, the fringing wood,
Which e'en the passer mark'd and lov'd.

But when mine eye's delighted pride,
Had dwelt the rock's high front upon,
I sought upon its warmer side,
A vine we train'd -- and that was gone.

And though awhile content I gazed,
Upon the river quick and fair,
I sought, ere long, a seat we raised
In childhood -- but it was not there.

Stones lay around, I know not whether
Its relics, or the winter's snow --
And sitting where we sate together,
Again I watch'd the torrent flow.

So whirl'd the waves that form'd it then,
In foam around yon jutting stone;
So arrowy shot they down the glen,
When here we pass'd the time that's gone.

There in the waters dipp'd the tree
From which, the day I parted hence,
I took a few green leaves, to be
My solace still through time and chance.

Full many a spring the tree has shone
In sunlight, air, and beauty here;
While I in cities gazed upon
The wither'd leaves of that one year.

That year was fraught with heavy things,
With deaths and partings, loss and pain;
And every object round me rings
Its mournful epitaph again.

But most, those small familiar traits,
Which only we have lov'd or known;
They flourish'd with our happier days --
They wither'd because we were gone.

Their absence seems to speak of those
Who're scatter'd far upon the earth;
At whose young hands they once arose,
Whose eyes gazed gleeful on their birth.

Those hands since then have grasp'd the brand,
Those eyes in grief grown dim and hot;
And wand'ring through a stranger's land,
Oft yearn'd to this remember'd spot.

How changed are they! -- how changed am I! --
The early spring of life is gone;
Gone is each youthful vanity, --
But what with years, oh what is won?

I know not -- but while standing now,
Where open'd first the heart of youth,
I recollect how high would glow
Its thoughts of Glory, Faith, and Truth --

How full it was of good and great,
How true to heav'n, how warm to men,
Alas! I scarce forbear to hate
The colder breast I bring again.

Hopes disappointed, sin, and time
Have moulded me, since here I stood;
Ah! paint old feelings, rock sublime!
Speak life's fresh accents, mountain flood!






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