Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO MONTAGUE; AT THIRTY-THREE, by CHARLES SPRAGUE



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TO MONTAGUE; AT THIRTY-THREE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O, no, I'll not forget the day
Last Line: With us through death's long, dreamless night.


O, NO, I'll not forget the day, —
It claims, at least, a hallowed hour,
A sparkling cup, an honest lay,
Sacred to Friendship's soothing power.

'T is not all ice, this heart of mine, —
One throb is warm and youthful still;
That throb, dear MONTAGUE, is thine,
Nor age nor grief that throb can chill.

How often sung, and yet how sweet
To dwell upon the days of old!
Our guiltless pleasures to repeat,
Ere in the world our hearts grew cold!

Fond memory wakes! each pulse beats high;
Like some sweet tale past joys come o'er,
The years of ruin backward fly,
And I am young and gay once more.

Friend of my soul! in this poor verse
Let one untutored tribute live;
Here let my tongue my love rehearse;
'T is all, alas! I have to give.

O, if, from time's wide-yawning grave,
There's aught of mine that I could free,
One line from dull oblivion save,
'T would be the line that tells of thee.

Though to the busy world unknown
Each noble act that shrinks from fame,
Goodness its favorite son shall own,
And orphan lips shall bless his name.

Thou'rt the small stream, that silent goes,
By earth's cold, plodding crowd unseen, —
Yet, all unnoticed though it flows,
Its banks are clothed in living green.

We met in that bright, sunny time,
When every scene was fresh around,
And youth's warm hour and manhood's prime
Have blessed the tie that boyhood bound.

Though oft of valued friends bereft,
I bend, submissive, to the doom;
For thou, the best, the best, art left,
To cheer my journey to the tomb.

And now, the dear ones of our race
Have come to live our pleasures o'er;
A lovely troop, to fill our place,
And weep for us when we're no more.

Ever, O ever may they keep
The holy chain of friendship bright,
Till, rich in all that's good, they sleep
With us through death's long, dreamless night.




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